HARLINGEN — Just think of it as the power of water.
About a half-dozen drains and some of the sidewalk above them on U.S. Business 83 between Lewis Lane and Stuart Place Road were buckled by the immense water pressure exerted by overnight flooding on June 24.
The western side of the city was hardest-hit by the storm, with rainfall estimates there ranging anywhere from 10 to 16 inches in just over four hours. At times that night, U.S. Business 83 was practically impassable in this area, with floodwaters on the south side of the road reaching an estimated three to four feet deep.
This week the city’s Public Works Department will begin the job of repairing these warped and chipped drains, and in some cases, the buckled sidewalks above them.
“Right after the water started receding in those areas, we started noticing some of those corners and they’re really like the pressure points … and they started buckling up,” Rodrigo Davila, the city’s public works director, said yesterday. “We placed some barriers there and I plan to have my guys out there starting tomorrow now that it’s dry enough.”
Davila said the city work crews hope to fix the concrete around the drains and then see the sidewalks “fall back into place.”
“In areas where it has buckled too much, we’re going to remove that section and replace it with concrete,” he added.
One good thing, Davila said, is this stretch long the south side of U.S. Business 83 between Lewis Lane and Stuart Place Road was one of the only places this kind of flood damage to city drains and sidewalks occurred.
“We have not received any other reports of sidewalks being lifted,” he said. “We had some where the whole section, the ground cracked, but it didn’t lift it, it just cracked and moved it out of place. These have buckled quite a bit. There was just a lot more tension on that side of the road.”