EDNA — Friday marked the third time this year Terrilyn Turner and her husband woke up to 3-4 inches of water in their home.
Despite knowing the heavy rain was coming days before, she still felt hopeless to stop the flooding.
“It is just awful,” she said Saturday. “The water here just sits. There isn’t much you can do except wait for it to run off.”
As rain fell by the inches this week, Elizabeth Chavana and her family struggled to keep the water outside their home.
Ricky Cotton, 54, who lives in a neighborhood across Main Street from Turner, was reminded of Hurricane Harvey after seeing flooding on his street.
“I thought ‘Man, not this again,’” he said sitting in front of his home, which still bore roof and water damage from the 2017 hurricane.
Cotton, Turner and other residents attribute the flooding to poor drainage lining some Edna homes, which city officials said they plan to address in the city’s next fiscal budget.
Turner, who has lived in Edna for almost all of her 63 years, said minor flooding has been a regular occurrence, but, this year, the drainage in front of and behind her Rowlett Street home has made it worse.
Her home flooded twice in May, causing significant water damage to all of the floors throughout the house. Some of her neighbors, who have all experienced flooding, have opted to rip out their wood or carpet flooring for cheaper, more water-resistant materials.
EDNA — For the last two years, Melissa Mach has driven down South East Street almost every day to get to her job at the United Ag feed store in Edna.
Others, like Carlos Gutierrez, raised his home’s foundation to avoid further water damage after Harvey, which flooded his home and damaged his roof. He said he took out a loan to pay for the construction, which, while very costly, kept him from wading through water on Friday.
“(It) cost an arm and a leg, but I am glad I did it,” said Gutierrez, 52, of his longtime Stafford Street home where he lives with his children. “I would’ve been washed out several times if I didn’t.”
For Turner, who works as a nurse while her husband is on a fixed income, raising the foundation of her home is not a financially feasible option.
“I shouldn’t have to spend $70,000-$80,000 to not have water in my home,” she said, noting that maintaining flood insurance is also a challenge. “There must be something the city can do.”
Mayor Lance Smiga said city officials are aware of several spots in the city that are prone to drainage issues. They have been taking steps to address them, he said.
“We have spent more on drainage this year than the city has in the last 10 — 15 years,” Smiga said. “Still, we have known it has been a problem, and the unprecedented rain has put it on display.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, northern parts of Edna saw up to 7 inches of rain in total, according to Liz Sommerville, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Corpus Christi. Other parts saw as high as 5 inches.
Sommerville said records are not readily available for areas in Jackson County because they are not as routinely documented until recently, but, since Victoria broke single-day records on Wednesday and Friday, it is possible Edna saw record-breaking rains as well.
“There can be quite a bit of variance from place to place, but it is definitely possible,” she said.
As the city is drafting a budget for next year, including during a budget workshop next week, Smiga said he will advocate for allocating more funds to mitigating drainage issues in the city.
“We know where the bad spots are. We just need to start the process,” he said. “I don’t have what that number is yet, but it will be a significant amount more to address the problem. It is a priority.”
However, Smiga said significant improvements, like plans to overhaul Edna’s streets, could take years until they are fully solved.
“It won’t be a ‘today’ deal. It will take some time,” he said.
Turner said she is hopeful Smiga and Gary Broz, the city manager who has been in the position nearly a year, are dedicated to fixing the issue.
“(Broz) was out here in May and got me some sandbags to help with the flooding this time. The bags didn’t do much, but I know they are trying,” Turner said.
“I hope they are men of their word and they get this fixed,” she added.