Fort Worth

Flooding in Fort Worth's Linwood Neighborhood Has No Quick Fix

Residents ask city to replace drainage system, stop new construction

An upscale neighborhood near Fort Worth’s trendy West 7th area which flooded over the weekend has an antiquated drainage system which makes the area "very, very chronically flood-prone," a city official said Monday.

People in the Linwood neighborhood are asking city leaders for an upgrade -- and want new development to stop until the flooding problem is fixed.

By some residents' count, the area has flooded five times in the past year.

"Something has got to give at some point,” said David Dodson, who focuses on zoning issues for the Lindale Neighborhood Association. "I think they should put a moratorium on any kind of construction down here."

He said the development and inadequate drainage system combine for a one-two punch.

"We keep piling more and more rooftops, more and more concrete driveways, with no impervious surface to absorb the overflow,” Dodson said. “It's just hitting the streets and the storm drains are backing up."

At a news conference Monday, city leaders acknowledged flooding is an ongoing problem in Linwood -- with no easy solution.

This map shows the location of 45 calls for help from high water on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018.

"That is a classic area where the drainage system was built 70, 80, 90 years ago,” said Fort Worth assistant stormwater management director Greg Simmons. “(It) was not built to today's standards, doesn't have the capacity for the significant rain events that we have and yeah it's very, very chronically flood-prone."

Fixing it would cost tens of millions of dollars, and the city council has no plans for it, Simmons said.

As for the city allowing so much new construction, he said developers must show new construction doesn’t add to the flooding problem.

"It's not a perfect science but we have standards in place to assess private development to try to assure it's not making things worse,” Simmons said.

Homeowners said something must be done before it's too late.

"Help our neighborhood,” said Lindale Neighborhood Association President Eva Bonilla, who grew up in Linwood. "I don't want any more apartments. We already have five apartments with (number) six going in with 70 units, and that's really scary."

The neighborhood was hit by a tornado in March 2000 that also devastated downtown skyscrapers nearby.

Many of the smaller older houses have been replaced in recent years with more upscale homes, mirroring the booming development of the West 7th area just blocks away.

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