He called an emergency meeting July 29, requesting the City Commission pass a resolution declaring a state of emergency so the City can apply for government-agency funding.
The City Commission passed the resolution unanimously.
City Commissioners Amanda Forrister and Randall Aragon asked Madrid to report on the damage.
Madrid said a lot of the City’s downtown drainage problems are due to its low-lying position, compounded by the hot springs beneath.
“It is impossible to install underground drainage,” Madrid said. “A lot of our drainage is above ground—retention ponds—and that is a problem.”
Last year a somewhat less severe rain event occurred, Madrid said, and a drainage-study team is still looking at how to mitigate flooding. He promised engineers will bring forward the results of that study soon.
Because of last year’s rain event, “we kept our retention ponds clear, which helped,” Madrid said.
The greater the volume of water, the greater the amount of silt, sludge, rock and vegetative debris collects and clogs up above-ground drainage works, Madrid said. Since no underground drainage works can be built, “the problem becomes how to slow down and divert away the water.”
“Retention ponds are how to look at it,” Madrid said.
The City had just renovated and rejuvenated the ball fields at Louis Armijo Park, close to Williamsburg and between Broadway and Veater Street. Those fields were inundated with silt and will have to be redone, Madrid said.
“There was no interruption in our water and wastewater systems,” Madrid said, “but there was damage to their control systems, which are needed for monitoring and operating those systems that are now being done manually.”
Madrid also mentioned that the City library and police station carpeting were damaged.