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Indio receives $4 million in grant funds for downtown flood prevention

Indio announced it will get more than $4.1 million for the City's Civic Center Storm Drain Project.

The California Natural Resources Agency is allocating the funding, which is provided under the Urban Flood Protection Grant Program for 26 projects statewide.

The program utilizes both traditional and green infrastructure measures to prevent flooding and flood damage in communities.

"This is going to be a huge win for the city of Indio," said Brooke Beare, the city's director of communications.

The project proposes making storm drain system improvements in Indio's downtown area on Requa Avenue from Oasis Street to Jackson Street, where there is currently no existing storm drain. It's an area that some local business owners say is prone to flooding.

"Even if a little sprinkle, it affects us," said Carina Perez, general manager of El Tapatio Restaurant, which has been in business since 1997.

The plan is to also convert Marshall Parkway to a "green Streets design" with a drainage swale, that will include the addition of plants and nearly 90 new trees. An extra 100 trees will be planted throughout the project site, along with rain gardens along Oasis Street, Smurr Street, and Requa Avenue.

The new landscaping is intended to help prevent flooding.

"So that the businesses don't get flooded and the people can drive safely," Beare said.

Even though Perez believes the final product will benefit businesses like her family's, she has concerns about how the project itself may hurt business.

"While the process is going on, I don't know how, you know, if it's going to go down, up, like what's going to happen," Perez said.

The design phase of the flood prevention project is set to start sometime in 2022. The city hopes to have the project completed within the next three years.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3

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