What to Know
Rising water on Wilson Creek will automatically trigger the warning system
The warning area has been the scene of five water rescues since 2015
The system will be installed by June 2019
McKinney city council members approved the purchase and installation of an early flood warning system Tuesday night.
The system, which will consist of a series of sensors, signage and flashing lights, will be installed at five points along two roads near the Wilson Creek, which is susceptible to flash flooding.
When water in the creek reaches a certain level it will automatically trigger the warning system, which will alert drivers to the possibility of flooding ahead along Park View Avenue and Valley Creek Trail in the area of Towne Lake Park.
That area has been the scene of five water rescues since 2015, according to the Assistant Emergency Manager for the City of McKinney. The most recent of which was in September 2018 when a man inadvertently drove into a flooded road. His vehicle was swept away in the water and the man was forced to cling to a tree all night long while he waited for rescue.
"Whenever we have a response like that we have multiple fire crews going out. We have crews for safety. We have crews going in to actually perform the rescue. And those are crews that you now cannot devote to if [for example] a house gets hit by lightning or something similar," said Randall Gurney, of the McKinney Fire Department. "Our goal is to warn drivers to stay out of the area once it is flooded so police, fire and public works do not have to go in and rescue them out of those areas."
The warning system is expected to be installed by June of this year.