Arroyo Doble residents: Union Pacific responsible for homes flooding in October

Some residents in South Travis County, whose homes were unexpectedly hit by October floods, say they know what happened and are taking action.

Residents that live in the area near Manchaca in the Arroyo Doble neighborhood are not on a floodplain. So, this last October they were completely shocked when water came rushing into their homes causing severe flooding and damage.

James Hammonds is one of those residents. He said it’s the railroad track behind his home that caused it.

“I am at the top of a hill. Pretty much just right at the top of the hill, it just shouldn't have happened,” Hammonds said.

His home, along with others in the area, are not prone to flooding. The historic storm dumped so much rain, it created a wall of water causing the railroad track to breach.

“I really just think it's negligence on their part. They didn't maintain the drainage, they didn't engineer the train track right to keep this from happening. This just shouldn't have happened where we are at,” Hammonds said.

Union Pacific officials said they are aware of the situation.

“We have opened our claims processing to them. We have been in contact with a number of residents that have filed claims with Union Pacific regarding the flooding,” said Jeff DeGraff, Director of Corporate and Media Relations at Union Pacific

DeGraff said Union Pacific has hired an outside hydrologist to study the events in October. They will be looking at the physical developments in the area, as well as the railroad.

“Once we have his information back we will be able have a better understanding of the responsibility of these damages. If it looks to be the responsibility of the railroad for a portion of these damages, we will work with the residents to settle these claims,” he said.

Because this is an area not prone to flooding, most of the residents said they don't have flood insurance.
FEMA is helping, but James Hammonds said it just isn't enough.

“It's helping us get a start on our house but my whole back yard was destroyed, everything we had back there. It's just not going to be enough to get us back on track.”

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