AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City council Thursday approved a resolution from council member Chito Vela directing the Watershed Protection, Austin Resource Recovery, and the Parks and Recreation departments to quickly clear creek beds of vegetative debris. 

The resolution is in response to the more than 30 homes that were flooded in north Austin after the April 20 storm. Vegetative debris, such as dead trees, clogged a storm culvert in Little Walnut Creek, leading to heavy flooding in the area that damaged homes. 

Those homes are in Vela’s district. He met with frustrated homeowners six days after the storm who said the flooding could have been prevented. 

Ryan Albright, a homeowner in the area who had two feet of water in his home, said he and his neighbors called 311 multiple times to warn of the debris in the creek bed and the potential of flooding. 

“We were informed that watershed relies on 311 requests to identify issues. We had already done that,” Albright explained.

Albright said vegetative debris from the winter storm built up around the creek bed. The resolution authored by Vela said the flooding was “exacerbated by additional damage and vegetation debris resulting from” the winter storm in late January and early February.

The resolution would also provide some type of financial aid for the homeowners. The resolution specifically mentions federal dollars that were given to Texas after the winter storm in late January and early February. Multiple tree limbs were broken because of that storm and neighbors say it’s what led to the storm culvert being clogged.

Council member Vela said of his resolution, “My resolution calls for both proactive and reactive action from the City. We must assist those affected by the Mearns Meadow flooding in seeking reimbursement, and we must also take precautions to prevent this from happening again.”

Albright estimates he received $10,000 of damage in his backyard and another $80,000 of damage to the interior of his home. His house is “uninhabitable” right now, with no floors, restrooms, or a kitchen. He and his wife are living in an Air BNB temporarily until the house can be fixed. Their flood policy does not cover the backyard damages or the temporary living expenses, Albright explained.

“The aid that is in there is necessary,” Albright said of the resolution.