North Austin neighborhood sees relief after flooding from storms
AUSTIN, Texas - Residents in a North Austin neighborhood that flooded due to storms a week and a half ago got some much needed help Sunday. Dozens of homes were damaged, and the Austin Disaster Relief network lent a hand to homeowners, as the cleanup continues.
It’s been 10 days since a line of severe storms swept through North Austin, causing Little Walnut Creek to overflow its banks—thanks in part to a clogged culvert on Quail Valley Boulevard. That flooding damaged at least 30 nearby homes.
"Today we have trained volunteers going out door to door and offering our services," said Kat Cannon, public information officer for Austin Disaster Relief Network.
The Austin Disaster Relief Network is offering everything from financial help to cleanup kits, replacement furniture to emotional support.
"These kinds of things, it doesn't take just a week or two to recover from when you have standing water in your home," said Cannon. "What a lot of people don't realize is that smaller events like this--flash flooding, those are disasters for the families who experience them."
For residents like Ryan Albright, who says he’s struggled to get help from the city, seeing these volunteers is a godsend.
"Having someone like Austin Disaster Relief come out and show compassion and knock on doors is nice. I would say that this is the first legitimate effort that our neighborhood has seen of someone actually coming out and check and provide help where they can," said Albright.
But Albright also believes the extent of the flooding and the damage was totally preventable.
"This was not a natural disaster. This was a man-made disaster," said Albright. "This is due to watershed and the city not maintaining these creeks how they should have. The entire creek was blocked."
Albright says he and his neighbors warned the city that the creek would flood.
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In a statement, Austin Watershed Protection said:
"Watershed Protection crews cleared the area near a culvert on Mearns Meadow Blvd. and Quail Valley Blvd. on April 11, 2023. The winter storm earlier this year exacerbated the amount of debris and downed limbs in and around creeks throughout Austin. Some of this debris may have gotten washed downstream during the storm [April 20] and clogged the culvert again…We have a Capital Improvement Project that will significantly reduce the risk of flooding in this area once it is completed."
"Preventive maintenance is always a better choice than trying to clean up things after the fact," said homeowner James Rogers.
If you need assistance from the Austin Disaster Relief Network, you can call their survivor hotline at (512) 806-0800. If you’d like to volunteer or donate, visit adrn.org.