Fort Worth

Volunteers Help Fort Worth Flood Victims; City to Discuss Drainage Issues This Week

Heavy rains in August flooded homes in the Linwood neighborhood off West 7th Street

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Neighbors in Fort Worth’s West 7th area are still cleaning up from floods two weeks ago. While homeowners wait on the city to address ongoing draining concerns, they received some much-needed help Monday.    

Volunteers with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team spent Monday ripping out sheetrock and insulation inside homes on Templeton Drive.

“It is a messy, dirty job, but it has to be done,” said volunteer David Dean. “If this job is not done then there’s going to be mold and health issues for the people inside the house.”

Nearly every home on the street flooded two weeks ago.

“It’s not a flooding issue,” said Dane Wicks, whose home has been flooded three times. “It’s a storm drain and water issue with the city who already knew about it.”

Neighbors said repeated calls to fix the aging drainage system around West 7th have gone unanswered.

“We sit almost four feet above street level and never thought when buying this house that we’d have to get flood insurance or think about this,” Wicks said.

He’s grateful to the volunteers who offered their services for free, working to rid the home of soaked insulation so the rebuilding can begin – but not before neighbors push the city for solutions during upcoming meetings.

“What are we going to do about this in the future and how are you going to take care of your citizens today?” Wicks asked.

City officials say there is not a simple solution for a 100-year-old drainage system.

"There needs to be storm drain improvements out there, a pump station out there and really, it’s beyond the scale of our program at this time. It’s a 90 million dollar plus project," said Jennifer Dyke, manager of the city's stormwater program.

Without those funds, for now, city leaders are reviewing two possible solutions submitted in an informal report to council members on Tuesday.

One proposal includes better communication to prospective buyers about properties known to flood in the city, but are not currently in a FEMA flood zone.

Another call for changing development regulations on lots smaller than an acre in flood-prone areas like the Linwood neighborhood.

Dykes said they've also placed cameras in the system to make sure it's working properly and not blocked by any debris along with exploring grants and state funding for future improvements.

The Trinity Regional Flood Planning Group recently submitted the first-ever Draft Regional Flood Plan for the Trinity River Basin to the Texas Water Development Board. There is an estimated possible $50 million in flood mitigation for the West 7th area in the plan that will formally be submitted in January.

"One of the things that we’ve seen here in the Metroplex is a lot of development and a lot of growth and that has a lot of challenges," said Glenn Clingenpeel, Trinity Regional Flood Planning Group chairman. "The more rooftops we put in, the more parking lots we put in, the greater the runoff that we’re generating every time that we have a significant storm event and what we’ve seen is that some of those storm events are increasing in intensity over the years."

The public is invited to the next Trinity RFPG input session:

Thursday, September 8, 2022, 6 p.m.
North Central Texas Council of Governments, First Floor Transportation Council Room
616 Six Flags Drive, Centerpoint Two Building
Arlington, Texas 76011

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