Fort Worth

Everman Farmer Fears More Flooding; Blames Fort Worth for Rising Waters

Whenever there is rain in the forecast people in a Fort Worth suburb brace for any sign of rising water.

Last September, rising water trapped dozens of people in the city of Everman and inundated their homes.

Rain expected on Tuesday will not be anything like that.

But some believe it's just a matter of time and they think Fort Worth is partly to blame.

Rachel Chambers remembers the water rushing by her family’s farm.

Upwards of five feet of flood water flowed above Chambers Creek in Everman last September.

The effects of that day remain.

The water line is visible on sheds and farming equipment. There's debris on some trees.

"When it rains you're scared," she said. "I'm fifth generation out here and it's the first time it's ever gotten into the house."

Her entire livelihood was nearly swept away in an instant.

About 200 of her farm animals were either swept away or drowned on the 39-acre farm along the banks of Chambers Creek.

"A lot of them I never have found, never will find them," said Chambers.

In the months since the six inch rainfall Chambers has looked for answers.

"Everything comes to this one small stream and it floods, it backs up," she said.

She and other residents believe runoff from their neighbor, Fort Worth, is partly to blame.

"[Fort Worth has] a lot of new buildings," she said. "We haven't had any structure done to the streams or anything to improve them to handle the growth."

Residents held a meeting over the weekend with state and local leaders.

A Fort Worth Public Works representative tells NBC 5 private developers follow state standards during the building process that compare drainage before and after the development.

The city’s assistant director of transportation and public works Greg Simmons said the city did an analysis of upstream development from 2005 through 2017 and found that out of the 3,100 acres that run through Everman, four percent had gone from green space to development.

Simmons added that since 2017 there has been more development projects but there has not been a spike.

However, the city of Fort Worth will be reviewing two recent developments to ensure they’re not contributing to flooding in Everman.

"Fort Worth has a lot of valuable land. They need to use that valuable land to contain their own water," said Chambers.

This lifelong farmer homes that her calls for help are answered before the next big rainfall.

"I'm horrified," she said. "I'm scared."

Fort Worth officials will be meeting with residents in Everman in the coming weeks to share the finding of their research into the two developments, according to Simmons.

A date has not yet been set.

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