Rio Grande River Crest in Sullivan City

Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 8:34am

The high water level in the Rio Grande river, near Sullivan City, continues to cause a stir among residents in the area. Some say they have not seen the water rise this high since Hurricane Beulah hit the Valley about four decades ago, Daisy Martinez visited with some of those residents.

The abundant and rapid flowing water in the Rio Grande River was the topic around town today. Many spectators made their way to the historic Los Ebanos ferry to see for themselves. Some brought cameras, others had to take a closer look and some retold stories about the last time they saw something like this.

These McAllen residents have crossed the river on the ferry before and say they had to come look at what was happening. "Well we have never seen it run like this and we wanted to come down and see what it was like,” Carol Hillman said. Dwight Hillman, her husband, said “it’s hard to believe that much water in such a short time. It's pretty mind boggling - like I said I just can't imagine what it would be without flood control you know 50 years ago," Carol Hillman said.

A lifelong resident doesn't have to imagine what it would've been like 50 years ago. She was here 43 years ago when hurricane Beulah made landfall in the Valley. She did not want to appear on camera but did share some memories. "Well the river was like that - over the banks and it was high, so we had to get out of our houses but the water didn't get into the houses," she said.

This Sullivan City resident since 1984 says this is the first time he witnessed the river's water so high. He says he came to see the water out of curiosity but does not believe there is any real threat of flooding in his town. "It looks ugly, but we're on higher ground in Sullivan City I don't think it will reach us,” Agustin Carbajal said. But just in case, Carbajal still has the sandbags he picked up a the fire department last week during Hurricane Alex along his garage door.

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