Farmers Branch Approves Emergency Funding to Save Sewer Line from Eroding Creek Bed

When Anthony Lewis looks out on his backyard that backs up to Farmers Branch Creek, he worries. A rainy year has made a growing problem worse.

"Because we have a huge problem here," said Lewis. "The rains the other night were up about a foot below where you're standing, so that's about a five or six foot wall of water, and it looks like a dam opening at Lake Texoma."

In September, two private 50-year old dams downstream failed. Since then, the creek has been trying to find its new flow.

Lewis said he's lost about 10-feet of backyard to erosion. Part of his neighbor's home is being undermined. The erosion is also threatening to compromise a city sewer line that runs along the creek.

"At some point, it's going to undermine an existing sanitary sewer line," said Farmers Branch City Manager Charles Cox. "So our challenge is to make improvements to protect that sanitary line as quickly as possible."

On Thursday the city council met in emergency session to approve spending $750,000 to start the fix right away. On Friday, crews were surveying the creek and taking photos. Cox said the work would start over the weekend, or on Monday.

It's not a long-term fix to stabilize the creek bed. The city has been studying that option, and has come up with a 3-year $6.5 million dollar plan.

"My question is, how are we going to all pay for that," asked Lewis, who said he appreciated the work the city has done to find a solution. Cox said the city is considering sharing the cost with homeowners, since property lines end in the middle of the creek.

On Friday, Lewis had workers shoring up a retaining wall in his backyard, "It will be beautiful again," he said.

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