Mari Martinez checks the outside of her house on Dickey Avenue where the residue across the outside walls shows where the water rose. Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Residents on Dickey, Webb streets had knee-high water in their homes

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Residue, dirt and water-soaked furniture, mattresses and clothes belonging to the Martinez family, whose home flooded on Friday after seven inches of rain fell on the city, has left the family with few belongings.

Red Cross was able to help them with a few groceries, but they are looking for assistance to help restore their home.

"About a foot of water went into our home," said Mari Martinez, who raises four children and a nephew. "What we did to try to prevent the water from coming in, we used comforters to block the water, but the currents were so strong."

A residue line on the wall can be seen as more than a foot of water rushed into Martinez's home in the 600 block of Dickey Avenue.

Martinez said they washed several dozen loads of laundry, but the clothes still have a musty smell. Several mattresses rested outside her patio area that were drenched in water, and she hopes they will dry for future use.

Martinez said she doesn't live in a flood zone, but on Friday it sure looked like she did.

"We could see the water bubbling as it was coming through underneath the walls," she said.

Martinez said she is a person that likes to help others. On Thursday before the flood, she donated a handful of large plastic bags full of clothing and shoes to a local charity. And now she is hopeful that someone can help her.

"Every room in the house got damaged," she said. "The walls are soft and I know the mildew will begin growing. The doors to the bedroom don't want to open and close (properly)."

Martinez's daughter April Ordonez said their backyard was a catch-all for debris.

"The water was too high to walk," she said. "There were trash bags floating everywhere, it was disgusting."

The Martinez's back neighbors, who live in 1000 block of Webb Street, experienced the same problem.

"The water was at least knee-high," said Carol Castillo, who lives on Webb Street with her sister. "I was asleep and heard my dog barking. I woke up and put my foot down on the floor and it was all wet. That's when we walked to our neighbors. It was bad."

Castillo said they spent about six hours cleaning out two rooms of the house on Tuesday.

"There was still water in the house," she said. "The water went into my car also, my car now has water damage."

Martinez said she called the interim city manager Tuesday and left a message with his secretary to see if the city is assessing any damage, but as of Wednesday, no city official had called her back.

"I'm hoping that someone will come forward to help us," she said. "I want them to see, I want the city manager to come out. This place has to be declared a disaster."