A March 2006 flood that swamped streets around Dallas Baylor Medical Center and surrounding neighborhoods could happen again in heavy rain since a planned $300 million dollar flood diversion tunnel is not built yet.
The project would replace Mill Creek, buried in Old East Dallas development many years ago.
Dallas voters approved massive flood improvements in recent years to remove street flooding and pump water through levies into the Trinity River. Some projects are completed, some are not.
“We’re currently bidding the Mill Creek construction tunnel project,” Dallas Trinity Watershed Management Director Sarah Standifer said. “So we’re working on those incrementally and we’re moving forward and citizens have a higher level of protection, and we have a higher level of confidence we’re able to provide those services.”
A new Pavaho Pump Station was recently completed in west Dallas along with a larger Baker Pump Station that serves the Stemmons Freeway area.
“We saw this station function during the spring rain event and saw how it’s benefits came through for us as well as those in west Dallas, at the Pavaho pump station and we would anticipate those benefits from each of the projects we move forward with,” Standifer said.
A new Able Pump station is under construction on Riverfront Boulevard, with completion expected in 2017. The Baylor area Mill Creek improvement is at least two years away.
In the meantime, Standifer urged residents to report high water by calling 311.
“We would ask that citizens really pay attention to where they are and their surroundings, if you see water, to turn around, don’t drown,” she said.
Chris Guthrie with Dallas Emergency Management said rain forecasted this weekend is not expected to cause serious problems because the Trinity River is low, with plenty of capacity to carry drainage.
“Fortunately we haven’t had a lot of rain in recent months, so the ground is going to soak a lot of it up immediately,” he said. “We have a 24 hour duty officer, so we are always on watch.”