Drainage overhaul keeps flood out of ROC

PASADENA, Texas — After taking on a major project to improve the safety and quality of life in their community, the Board of Directors at Pasadena Trails is thrilled with the impact it’s had on their ROC, particularly when a 2017 hurricane devastated much of the surrounding area.  Photo of the drainage and construction work done to solve the flooding issue in the Pasadena Trails ROC.

For years, the Pasadena, Texas, community would flood during heavy rainfalls. This was a particular problem at the entrances of the community, making it unsafe for those looking to come in and out of the neighborhood. The back entrance was also used as the bus stop for the numerous students in the ROC, and the flooding would leave them soaked as they came to and from school.

Water would also encroach on the houses as well, putting them at risk for damage.

“There were times when the water would come up to the first step of some homes,” said Odalma Ortiz Rodriguez , treasurer for the democratically elected Board of Directors, who happen to be all women.

But when Hurricane Harvey brought in record breaking winds and rain, the 127-home ROC weathered the storm with no major damage. Though there was some brief flooding during the height of the storm, the water did not come up as high or stay nearly as long as it had in the past.

The Board planned a three-pronged approach to combat the flooding issues. First, the drainage ways were cleaned and new plumbing was installed to prevent build up from blocking the draining water.

Crews also installed more permanent, larger speed bumps. Many use the neighborhood as a cut-through, at times driving faster than the posted speed limit. Board members said they’ve seen traffic slow down significantly, making it safer for those who live there.

The front entrances were also widened, making it easier and safer for people to come in and out of Pasadena Trails.

Board Members said they were grateful for the support residents gave during the project, which took just over 6 months to complete. Though there was little disturbance of the daily traffic in the neighborhood, the bus stop did need to be temporarily moved to accommodate the widening work.

“People were very, very patient,” Ortiz Rodriguez said. “It was a big adjustment, but people didn’t complain. They knew it was going to be great when it was finished.”

When it comes to advice for others who might be thinking about taking on a similar projects, Board Members say remind others that much of what is expected of them — like vetting vendors and looking at bids — is something they already do in their work on the Board.

Other benefits have been felt as well. Now that the flooding problem has been fixed, the vacant sites have all been filled. All that remain are two RV spots for seasonal or temporary tenants.

“It’s so good that more people want to bring their homes here,” said Board Vice President Bianca Vega.

Pasadena Trails has been a ROC since June 2009. Learn more about the community at www.pasadenatrails.coop.

[Quotes have been translated.]