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Odessa Drainage System Causes Flooding, Officials Speak Out 9/29/12
CBS 7 News Reporter
September 29, 2012
ODESSA, TX - Itís a problem seen in many parts of Odessa today. After rainy weather blew through the city, many low-lying spots are still flooded due to what city leaders say is a poor drainage system.
Much flooding across Odessa and a less than adequate drainage system in city is leaving many Odessans and their property, waiting for the water to recede. As storms poured through Odessa yesterday, many say it was refreshing to get the rain.
" I loved it. It's nice. I lived up in Oregon for a while so I missed all the rain," said Odessa resident, Lynn Dickman.
But the effects of the downpour and a poor drainage system led to flooding in many parts of the city. Itís problem west Texans say officials needs to fix.
"I mean you can tell they aren't used to driving in it and the drainage system is horrible here. If you don't drive a big pick up or a SUV, you're not going to be able to drive through it," said Midlander, Blake Jansa.
"It's better now then what it's ever been. I've seen Muskingum flooded. I mean when they drive boats up and down [the street] when I was a kid," stated Odessan, Tommy Duniphin.
City leaders say they've known about the drainage problem for many years.
"Drainage has been a problem here for as long as I remember and I've lived here over 60 years. But drainage has always been a problem,Ē stated Odessa Mayor Larry Melton.
They say they've discussed fixing it several times before, but the multi-million dollars price tag is what keeps them from the job.
"We just don't have the money to do that and it's very costly. We have a problem about 3 or 4 times a year. That's to costly to do that right now," said Melton.
Until this problem is fixed, west Texas drivers and homeowners are forced to battle the tides and wait out the wet weather for dryer times.
Odessa mayor Larry Melton says they have made improvements on the drainage system; but they do not plan to make major changes any time soon.