Thoroughbred Farms community cleaning up after flood

This week’s storms left behind a big mess for homeowners in the Thoroughbred Farms neighborhood.
Residents there said about three feet of water rushed into the area, leaving behind inches of mud and piles of debris.

John Gonzalez has lived in the Thoroughbred Farms neighborhood for 26 years, but now that his home has flooded for the second time in just seven months, he may not be there much longer.

“I'm really thinking about just leaving it and moving elsewhere, look for higher ground,” said Gonzalez. 

Thursday night, a storm hovered over the area long enough to cause severe flooding that put many homeowners in a life-threatening situation.

“There were so many people caught outside, some in their cars, some in trees, some on top of their roof,” said Thoroughbred Farms homeowner Margaret Arriaga.

After 38 years in the community, Arriaga said this time she got lucky.

“It was amazing because in the garage, where we're living, the water only came up to our knees, but outside it was about three feet high,” said Arriaga. 

Even though Arriaga's home wasn't hit as hard as some of her neighbors, the damage left behind is significant.

“The dressers, as you can see, they're all falling apart already. So lost that, most of the furniture,” said Arriaga. 

Gonzalez is still renovating his home after the October flood last year. Now he will have to add months to the project.

“I don't even want to clean up. I'm frustrated with this,” said Gonzalez. 

Sunday, the Austin Disaster Relief Network is supposed to help people like Arriaga and Gonzalez with cleanup efforts inside their homes.

“The mud, the mud that settles on the floor, it's awful,” said Arriaga. 

Even though the floodwater only climbed halfway to where it was in October, people in the neighborhood are twice as concerned by the repeated threat to their homes.

“Next time I might not have my life here, you know, because it was pretty bad,” said Gonzalez. 

Although it will takes weeks or months to clean up the damage from this week’s storm, everyone in the neighborhood was able to get out safely. That wasn't the case in October when three people in the neighborhood were swept away by floodwaters.

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