A new Dallas flood control pumping station is up and running along Riverfront Boulevard to greatly increase capacity for removing storm water from the center of the city, pushing it through the Trinity River levees and into the floodway.
The new $69 million Able pump station will have four big new pumps, each of them capable of pumping more water than both of the old Able pumps combined.
Rick McRay, Senior Program Manager of Dallas Storm Water Operations, said the old Able pumps were often near capacity.
The latest news from around North Texas.
"If we had a really bad rain we would have had some problems," he said. "We had it close sometimes when the water was up over the docks. The pumps were built in the 60's and 70's they were old, outdated."
The new station is automated for control from a central command station. The first two pumps are already running. Construction is nearing completion on the second two.
"More than likely, we would never have to run more than two of them at one time. So if anything was ever to go wrong with one of these pumps, we could always swap over to the next pump," McRay said.
The city recently received word that the US Army Corp of Engineers has awarded $450 million for additional Dallas flood control measures.
New Lamar and Cadillac Heights levees will get $135 million of that money.
Resident Daniel Davila, 53, has lived his entire life in the Cadillac Heights neighborhood and seen it flood 5 times. One of the worst floods was in 1990 when the area was under water for more than a month.
"After trying to fix our house the best we can, it came in '91, in and out. It's just like a nightmare," Davila said.
In the years since, the City of Dallas has been buying flood prone homes in Cadillac Heights, so much of the old neighborhood is vacant.
Davila said he's received an offer, too.
"But it's not enough to go out and find something that we've got already built here," he said.
So the longtime resident is hoping he lives to see the new levee protection.
"I would say, yes. I'm all for the levee," he said.
Other parts of Dallas will receive new pump improvements from the federal money.
The height of all the levees will also be increased to boost flood protection and increase the capacity of the Trinity River floodway.
A new flood diversion tunnel is under construction to remove storm water from Uptown and the East Dallas area around Baylor Medical Center, which has seen several big floods in the past.
McRay said the new Able pump station is already helping to move storm water out of the Baylor area, even before the diversion tunnel is completed.
"We've definitely improved everything in the last few years," McRay said.
And more is on the way in the next few years.