A strong storm in Nogales this weekend forced ten people out of their homes on Western Avenue, near Interstate 19.
Rain quickly flooded a nearby wash, which caused the water to rush through the street and into several homes, according to emergency response agencies. Sgt. Robert Thompson with Nogales Police Department said the water rose to about a foot high, so first responders had to wait for it to drop before helping families in flooded homes.
“At that point, you start feeling useless because you can’t really help anybody that needs the help,” said Thompson. “All you can do is keep phone contact with everybody through our dispatch, who did an outstanding job last night, letting the residents know that we’re trying to get there but we can’t because of this.”
Firefighters helped Jose Origel’s family during the flood early Sunday morning. He said the water moved so quickly that he couldn’t reach his loved ones.
“I couldn’t do anything,” said Origel. “I felt stranded. I couldn’t do anything at all for my family.”
But there’s plenty for Jose to do Sunday afternoon as his family worked to dig their cars out of a muddy mess of a front yard. Neighbors along Western Avenue had their own messes to clean, but they weren’t alone in the effort.
Agencies involved in the initial response or the cleanup include: The City of Nogales, Nogales Police Department, Nogales Fire Department, Santa Cruz County and Border Patrol.
Origel said this is the worst flooding he’s seen on his street. He’s grateful for the help, but said he would prefer the energy be spent on improving the washes near his neighborhood.
“it’s actually really nice that they’re helping everyone out,” he said. “It’s signs of changes but until we see real changes, we can’t really say anything.”
The Red Cross booked hotel rooms for Jose and his family, along with three other adults living on Western Avenue.
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