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Clogged storm drains resulted in flooding on Airline Road Sunday, City officials say

Drainage improvements were a big part of the recent Airline Road reconstruction, but City officials said maintenance was the issue behind Sunday's flooding.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Although Monday is a much drier day for the Coastal Bend, that wasn't the case Sunday, as many streets in town were flooded and almost impossible to drive on.

Airline Road was one of the streets that caused drivers headaches on Sunday, despite the road undergoing reconstruction last year with one of the major improvements being fixes to its drainage system.

According to the City of Corpus Christi, the flooding on Airline Road last weekend was not due to the construction or engineering of the street, but rather clogged storm drains.

"With the Airline Project we did do storm water infrastructure upgrades, so the issues that occurred over the weekend were based on maintenance," said Gabriel Hinojosa, Interim Director of Public Works for the City.


Hinojosa said said there was debris in the water line causing a blockage and resulting in flooding.

"They lifted a manhole, created more weight from the water, and were able to flush out the line and it drained properly after that," Hinojosa said. 

While Hinojosa is not sure what debris blocked the line, he said there are some general tips all residents and businesses can do to help alleviate area storm drains.

Paul Bass, Assistant Director of the City's Solid Water Services Department, said one common tip is to bag your trash so there is a lower chance of it blowing into the road. The same goes for yard clippings.

"That's so important that after you cut your grass, blow that yard waste back on your lawn," Bass said. "It wont hurt your lawn at all or be noticeable in your grass. It will keep that material from going down the storm drains and clogging the drains."

Hinojosa said they plan to monitor Airline Road as well as other inlets across the city, but they are shorthanded and working to grow their numbers.

"We have over 19,000 inlets within the city and we have two crews right now that cover the whole city," Hinojosa said. "So that's one of our major improvements. We want to get to these inlets and prevent this from happening in the future."

The city plans to add two more crews by the next fiscal year, and their goal is to be able to go out to each inlet at least yearly.

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