221 new storm drains to combat street flooding

Flooded streets are a chronic problem in Mérida, especially during rainy season. Photo: Sipse
Flooded streets are a chronic problem in Mérida, especially during rainy season. Photo: Sipse

Mérida, Yucatán — Addressing chronic street flooding, the city is paying two private contractors a combined 600,000 pesos for 221 new storm drains and eight reservoirs.

Public Works Director David Loría Magdub said his department working in coordination with the water utility, Junta de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado de Yucatan (Japay) to improve rainwater control throughout the city.

Even with Yucatán’s porous landscape, floods can take five hours or more to recede, he said. City crews constantly clear out storm drains and repair pipes, which get clogged with litter.

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The investment will pay off with clearer streets and fewer instances of rain water ending up in private homes, said Municipal Public Services Director José Collado Soberanis and Mayor Renán Barrera, who held a press conference to announce the project.

They also asked residents to follow through and not toss garbage into the 12-meter-deep storm drains.

A resident of Col. Juan Pablo II, the first neighborhood to get the new storm drains, thanked the City Council for promptly addressing the problem.

“Really these works are of great benefit to all who live in this area, especially because we have had severe cases of flooding that took up to three days to drain,” said Ramón Cruz.

The project is among the first initiated by the mayor, who took office Sept. 1.

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Mérida has 2,000 kilometers, or 1,243 miles, of streets to maintain.

Sources: Sipse, Ayuntamiento press release

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