Floods leave residents in Saipan Park and Spaghetti Bowl area on edge

Friday, September 13, 2013 - 11:39pm

One of the hardest hit areas in the 2006 floods is once again experiencing plenty of flooding after Thursday's rain.

The Saipan Neighborhood is now a lake after heavy rain has flooded the park to what appears to be capacity.

But Durazno street and Saipan Park underneath the Spaghetti Bowl have come along way since the floods of 2006. The entire area was literally swept away. Many homes were ruined and many businesses had to shut down.

Quintero's Meat Company was one of the few that managed to stay afloat.

"During the 2006 floods, our store got flooded. The water was three feet high. We had to throw away a lot of merchandise. It took them a year and a half to fix up this road and the drain. It almost put us out of business for a year and a half," said Quintero's Meat Company owner Javier Garcia.

Directly across the Spaghetti Bowl, Sylvia Morquecho visited her mother who lives directly underneath the highway. She's worried that more rain will cause the pond, directly next door to her mother's home, to overflow.

“My mom is 75 and lives here alone so it is dangerous for her," said Morquecho.

"We feel unsafe right now because the rain is about to start again. We don't see any people from water utilities right now.”

Christina Montoya with El Paso Water Utilities sent NewsChannel Nine this statement:

“The Saipan Ponding area was designed for stormwater to fill up the pond itself first, then overflow into the first soccer field adjacent and the second soccer field next. Pumps on site have been gradually bringing the water levels down as well. Stormwater in the ponding area is currently contained.”

For now people who work and live underneath the Spaghetti Bowl will just have to prepare the best they can.

“Right now with the pond that they made, I just hope that's enough to contain the water that we have right now," said Garcia.

NewsChannel Nine did ask El Paso Water Utility officials about the retention pond under the Spaghetti Bowl. The officials did not directly answer our questions about the water levels skimming the highway, but several employees were  seen at the lake monitoring the area.


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