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Residents Band Together To Fight Fort Worth Flooding

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – They have had to go swimming to save livestock, seen homes sit on islands, and watched roads turn into rivers. But CBS 11 News discovered residents on Fort Worth’s east side are joining together to try to find a solution to flooding they’ve all fought on their own.

The problem has gone from bad to worse. Residents say the flooding is getting dramatically worse, even during light rains.

As evidence, citizens point to the example that Fort Worth set out to raise Trinity Boulevard so it wouldn’t flood so much, and then in March it washed out.
A few residents, on their own, have asked the city for help, but now they’re banding together to help solve the problem.

Residents on rural properties to the south say flooding is getting incrementally worse each year, forcing some to consider leaving, or at the least trying to buy flood insurance.

The group, now being organized under the The Historic Randol’s Mill Valley Alliance, plans to address the problem with the same strategy that kept a gas compressor station development out of the area two years ago.

Some residents have already found roads and berms, without permits, built in the flood plain that it believes could be adding to problems. One of those roads was torn out a year ago, by Chesapeake Energy.

At a small meeting Thursday, Fort Worth’s flood plain administrator Claire Davis agreed that it may be up to residents to find and report more potential problems. The flood office consists of just two people Davis said, who try to manage what amounts to 15-percent of the city’s land.

There are more controls in place on new development he said, and plans have to comply with federal standards. Flood control becomes complicated though he said when considering un-permitted development, and growth upstream.

Alliance president Bob Horton said the issue was about more than just keeping property dry. “We could be telling a story about people who lost their lives because of flooding. But instead we’re going to be telling a story about saving lives and saving property values.”

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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