FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Engineers are analyzing unpermitted gas well access roads in Fort Worth, to see if they could be contributing to extensive flooding to properties along the Trinity River.
The city’s flood plain administrator said no matter what engineers determine, the roads will have to be taken down, or allow for water to pass through in some way.
The roads in question run roughly parallel to the Trinity’s north bank, east and west of Precinct Line Road. Made from fill dirt, they are built anywhere from a few inches, to several feet above the surrounding elevation.
Mary Kelleher said the road stood out when she and her husband were looking for reasons for the flooding that has swallowed their property to the south. She acknowledges she lives in a flood plain, but said the flooding has become more of a problem than when she built her home in 2007. “It’s just going higher with less rain it seems like,” she said.
A neighbor, Julie Amendola, said her small farm has flooded twice this year. “We’ve got it coming from two different directions, and it starts to envelop the property, and we’re under water.”
When Kelleher asked the city for documents on the road, she discovered it was part of a group of wells that were permitted in the area by Dale Resources. The roads through the flood plain leading to the well pads though, were not part of the permit.
“It just angered me because I know what procedures I went through to build my house,” Kelleher said. “I had to work with the city of Fort Worth flood plain division extremely close, in order to build my house and make sure the construction of my home didn’t impact anyone else.”
Flood plain administrator Clair Davis said the city has asked Chesapeake Energy, which now owns the sites, to have engineers do an analysis for flooding impact from the roads.
Hydraulic models were returned Thursday and the city has yet to review them. Davis said though that permits are required for any development in the FEMA floodplain and the roads will have to be mitigated.
Residents said they believe the roads may be just part of a larger problem caused by pipeline installations and residential development in the area over the past few years.
Chesapeake said in a statement it was not aware of the unpermitted road when it purchased the site in 2007 and it will keep working with the city to determine the best remedy