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Tarrant Co. Flooding Damaging Homes, Closing Businesses

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) –  Rain fell sporadically Wednesday leaving many North Texans saying, ‘Here we go again.’

Just like on Tuesday, some streets looked more like rivers. Again, driver’s said the water came up quickly — flooding cars, homes and businesses.

Along Camp Bowie in Fort Worth businesses were slowly drying out.

Inside the Nezhoni Trading Post, John McKay spent the day cleaning up. ‘We’ve been through hailstorms, ice storms, rainstorms, but we never had anything like this,” he said.

McKay said he got about an inch of water in his store. “Our carpet is going to smell for a little while but we got some nice candles. We’ll get that smell out of here.”

Torrential downpours dropped more than 18 inches of water in one Arlington Height’s home on Tuesday. “I just moved in three weeks ago. I had boxes on the floor, art, guitars… my baby grand piano,” said homeowner Deanna Wendolyn through tears.

The flood damage isn’t something new for people who live in the area. Flood waters in the neighborhood routinely lift cars and send them floating down the street, according to residents.

“I’ve picked up a mother and her toddler out of a drowned car over here. And yesterday we helped three or four people out of their cars floating by on our street,” said Arlington Heights resident Todd Brown.

Many homeowners said they have flooded the city with complaints for years about poor drainage in the area but they still fear flooding every time heavy rain storms hit.

“Countless meetings… and we got nothing. And it’s frustrating — it’s very frustrating because it’s June and it’s going to rain some more and in July it rains even more. As you can tell this can just happen again,” said Brown.

Fort Worth District 7 Councilman Dennis Shingleton said there isn’t a storm water system in place based on the old infrastructure in the neighborhood that works.

Shingleton toured the flooded part of his district Wednesday morning.

He said the city has studied the drainage problems there but correcting the problem in the old neighborhood would take lots of funds and people losing their valuable homes.

“We had a long range plan but its terribly expensive and it involves houses that would probably have to bought by the city. All of those types of things come into the plan; it’s not an easy execution,” said Shingleton.

Study for drainage control was done in 2006, according to Fort Worth Storm Management. They said their solution was to buy enough property to build a large retention pond, essentially making a linear park through the neighborhood. But homeowners balked at the idea. Since then, whenever there is a sewage project, the city builds large, underground vaults to hold water. They recently built one Ashland Street, are set to build on Carleton Street next spring and have bought property to build another retention pond nearby.

In Arlingotn, Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor closed after Wednesday’s rain caused flooding there. The popular amusement park released the following statement:

“Due to inclement weather, Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor are closed. The parks will re-open tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. Our rides are typically unaffected by adverse weather conditions and water recedes quickly after a heavy rain. Per our standard safety procedures, all rides will be thoroughly inspected prior to re-opening.”

A number of customers along a street near Montgomery Plaza and 7th Street said the floods came so fast they couldn’t get to their cars quick enough to move them.

(©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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