The city of San Marcos received $24 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in an effort to mitigate the effects of future floods in the city and rebuild damaged infrastructure from past events.
On April 10, HUD awarded a total of almost $28 billion to nine states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. These funds were allocated through the Community Development Block Grant — Disaster Recovery Program to aid in major disaster recovery.
Since 2015, San Marcos has received a total of $58.7 million from HUD in disaster relief grants.
According to the City of San Marcos Engineering and Capital Improvements Department, flooding within the city comes mainly from the San Marcos River, the Blanco River, and Purgatory Creek.
Students are aware flash flooding can occur quickly in San Marcos after a torrential rainfall and tend to hope rain will mean cancelled classes. Aaron Gaul, environmental studies sophomore, never expected the floods to have a direct impact on his apartment.
“On two separate occasions (of heavy rainfall), my room at Ella Lofts had water coming through my window from my balcony, where it accumulated and proceeded to soak my carpet,” Gaul said. “This caused mold and lots of repairs, which took weeks.”
Gaul hopes in the future, both the city and apartment complexes will look at flooding patterns and design infrastructure accordingly instead of taking reactionary measures.
Some residents of the Pointe San Marcos found their cars completely submerged March 28 after heavy rainfall. More information can be found here.
Stacy Brown, housing and community development manager for the city, said San Marcos has not received federal regulations for the funding but is expected to be in the register later in the summer. HUD told the city the funds can be used for mitigation of future floods, in addition to recovery from flooding the city has already experienced.
Brown said infrastructure projects are pending.
“As soon as the federal regulations come out, we will be having public meetings to discuss what we can do with the funding and to get community input on the projects,” Brown said.
Brown said the projected major projects will include upgrading the size of drainage pipes, and reconstructing roadways to ensure water doesn’t sit stagnant.
City officials have 90 days to decide upon projects and send their decisions to HUD for approval. The money must be spent within two years. Brown said that will be a challenge, and officials are preparing to get to work as soon as the regulations come in.