Graves damaged by floods, families in Odessa devastated
ODESSA, (ABC Big 2 / FOX 24) – Local families are devastated after seeing the graves of their loved ones ruined. Workers at the Ector County cemetery say as many as 40 graves collapsed after heavy rains on Monday.
Mark Luna has five family members buried in the Ector County cemetery, he says all of their graves were damaged by the flooding on Monday. But her family was not the only one affected.
“It’s terrible, I totally cried even seeing the graves of other people I don’t even know, but he’s a loved one,” Luna said. “It’s really appreciated that they at least tried to come and do it today.”
All day long, workers in Ector County have filled dozens of damaged graves as families watch, some say they are devastated.
“I don’t think it’s taken care of well,” said Irene Jimenez. “Tractors pass over the graves and the plaques have fallen, there is no respect here.
But others were happy to find the grave of their loved one without any damage.
“Thank goodness my stepdad is fine, but when you see everyone around you it’s completely shocking,” said Linda Verdugo. “You can’t believe something like this would happen.”
Cemetery officials say this has also been a problem in the past. Heavy rains have already damaged graves, but all the county can do is refill them. But the families here want to do more to prevent this.
“I would think they would build higher ground like a brick or some sort of cement block,” Luna said.
“For me, this is the whole flood situation around Odessa, why don’t we have a drainage system because it’s not a one-off problem,” Verdugo said.
And the family members are just hoping for a solution.
“You know they are dead, but there is still someone there who matters to us,” Jimenez said. “You know, act like it’s your relative, like you’re taking care of their grave.”