San Marcos battles flooding, other issues in construction areas

Rain events Nov. 21–22 caused flooding and sedimentation in construction areas throughout San Marcos, including North LBJ Drive and downtown.

Both areas are undergoing major construction projects to improve roads, utilities and other infrastructure.

During a presentation to San Marcos City Council on Dec. 2, Laurie Moyer, director of capital improvement projects, said the issues during the rains were caused by a unique combination of factors.

North LBJ's paving has been delayed due to weather, so rain that fell onto the street was not able to be channeled into inlets—cutouts along the curb through which water enters the city's drainage system—because the inlets are about six inches higher than the road right now.

That problem will be addressed when additional asphalt is poured on the road during final paving, she said.

A small right-of-way for the project also means there is little room to deter the flow of sediment into the river, she said.

Downtown, some inlets were not operational, and others were covered with mesh intended to mitigate the flow of trash and debris into the city's drainage system.

"We need North LBJ to be completed, but from what I saw, I feel like we dropped the ball," Councilman John Thomaides said. "I think you've stated as much, but I have not heard that it won't happen again. I think we kind of owe that."

Moyer said she could not guarantee small particles of sediment will not make their way into the water again.

"Dirty water occurs not just over a construction site," she said. "Dirty water occurs from runoff, period. [This runoff] came from both [construction sites and areas not under construction].

"I do not feel like we dropped the ball. I do feel like we can continue to improve every time we do a project. I cannot stand up here and tell you this will not happen again."

Flooding downtown affected four businesses, including KnD's, Royal Cleaners, Emerald's and Rhea's Ice Cream.

Kristan Alvarez, who co-owns KnD's, a clothing boutique on LBJ Drive downtown, said her store was flooded with about three inches of water during the rains Nov. 21–22.

"We got a lot of water," she said. "A lot of our stuff got damaged."

Alvarez said the store was also flooded in July during a similar rain event. Those rains forced the shop to close for about one month, she said. The store's inventory had to be removed and the molding carpets were replaced with concrete.

Alvarez said business since the flooding has been good. The city has helped the boutique market itself at downtown events and shop local programs, many of which have been sponsored by the San Marcos Main Street program.

"I don't blame the city, because they can't stop mother nature, but I feel like a little more could have been done to help us out [during the flooding]," Alvarez said.

Project Manager Shaun Condor said the North LBJ Drive project is scheduled for completion in the summer, if weather allows. The downtown construction project is slated for completion in January.


MOST RECENT

The Buda City Council adopted the 2021-22 tax rate and budget on Sep. 20. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper).
Buda City Council approves tax rate, budget and parks master plan

A new tax rate, budget and park master plan adopted for the City of Buda at their Sep. 20 meeting.

Dr. Rosina Valle spoke on the importance of the Centro community center at the Sep. 20 meeting of the San Marcos CISD school board. (Photo courtesy SMCISD)
SMCISD hearing on possible sale of Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos property brings dozens of supporters to meeting Sep. 20

The school district is in the process of having the property appraised but has not made a decision on whether to sell or continue to rent it out to Centro.

Students at O. Henry Middle School in Austin head in for their first day of school Aug. 17. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD's COVID-19 rate lower than nearby districts after first month of school

Austin ISD recorded more cases in the first month of this school year than in all of the 2020-2021 school year. Still, Austin ISD saw a lower percentage of cases in students than surrounding school districts.

Wayback Burgers specializes in cooked-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. (Courtesy Wayback Burgers)
Wayback Burgers coming to Leander; fire kills 75 dogs in Georgetown and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Shoppers can customize bouquets with additions like this Batman emblem. (Photos by Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local florist Kyle Flower Shop awarded best small business by the city

Kyle Flower Shop sell custom floral arrangements, succulents and small ficus trees.

graphic
DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

UFCU pledged up to $100,000 in scholarships to Texas State University students for the 2021-22 school year. (Joe Warner/ Community Impact Newspaper)
UFCU pledges $100,000 in scholarships to Texas State students

In a statement, UFCU CEO Tony Budet expressed the passion the company has to strengthen the local communities and students, both on and off the field.

The cheeseburger and fries combo ($11) is served with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and condiments on the side. (Photos By Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Willie's Joint restaurant offers burgers, live music and more

Since 2013, Willie's Joint has served as a main street family style bar and restaurant in the heart of Buda.

A volunteer unloads food from a truck during the Central Texas Food Bank's April 4 event to feed families in need at Nelson Field in Austin. (Courtesy Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank delivering boxes of food directly to homes through 2021

Some families will be eligible to have boxes with food for 25 meals delivered by Amazon.

Hays County sees high job postings as workers adjust to labor market

Unemployment has come down to 4.4% in July from a high of 12.3% in April 2020, and the amount of people in the labor force has grown beyond even pre-pandemic levels.