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South Texas braces for floods amid high COVID-19 hospitalizations

From the threat of sickness to the threat of displacement, the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas braces for another punch.

MCALLEN, Texas —

From the threat of sickness to the threat of displacement, the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas braces for another punch.

COVID-19 has hospitals reaching capacity. More than 600 people are dead and the toll keeps rising.

This weekend, flooding is expected in some parts of the region.

“Our personnel are prepared to respond to these calls and we have the proper equipment to prevent any type of contamination or contact,” said Tirso Garza, fire chief, City of San Juan.

RELATED: Treatment for COVID-19 patients facing death is in short supply

The city has nearly 50 people on standby for flood calls.

“It floods down here a lot,” said Johnny Llanes of McAllen.

Llanes is the co-founder of The Project Care Foundation, a nonprofit that runs errands, delivers food and gets medicine for people at high-risk or quarantined from COVID-19.

Credit: The Project Care Foundation
Credit: The Project Care Foundation

“I cannot believe that with the high incidence of cases here in the valley that we now have this other problem coming,” said Llanes.

Llanes, a nurse, is recovering from COVID-19. He works with insurance companies and does home visits for patients.   

Llanes said he sees how flooding threatens families' safety and health.

“I've seen where my patients would say, 'Don't come. You can't even get through. We can't even get through because there's water everywhere. There's mud everywhere.' So it really affects those people, low-income, you know, already lacking the food and water and so forth,” said Llanes.

“We should be OK. We should fare well,” said Garza.

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