FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – It wasn’t even a month ago that parts of Fort Worth were soaked with several inches of rain. During the downpour homes were flooded, roofs collapsed and emergency crews had to rescue stranded drivers from their cars.
Now, especially with heavy rains in the forecast, many are asking what’s being done to prevent another damaging washout?
Homeowners are still drying out and cleaning up from the last rainstorms. They say a few weeks ago they were caught off guard, but now they’re ready. Many have even put out sand bags and tarps around their homes hoping it will make a difference.
Looking at the condition of his home resident Ken Kirkwood said, “Just about the whole house is a construction zone.”
Kirkwood should be getting his baby’s nursery ready, not redoing his entire house after it was flooded.
“My wife and I had to move out. She’s six months pregnant and I don’t want her exposed to this,” he said motioning toward the cleaning, paint and renovation supplies and equipment.
Kirkwood now worries about yet another storm, and this one is expected to bring two and four inches of rain.
“So all the work that we’ve done today, to get this place cleaned up, could be wiped out tomorrow.”
You know the phrase once bitten, twice shy – now Kirkwood and his neighbors aren’t taking any chances. They’ve lined the front of their homes with sand bags and tarps hoping this time to be spared.
Another neighbor, Andy Jones, had flood damage during the last storms. “Hope it [water] doesn’t come in through the house… and just keep our fingers crossed that not a whole lot more damage happens,” he said anticipating the upcoming weather.
Thinking back to the last storm Jones said, “[There was] five inches of standing water throughout the whole house. We have calculated [there was] 21 and half inches in the back yard. The front of the house looked like a lake for about a 30 minute period.”
The City of Fort Worth is installing large underground drainage vaults on some streets, to help with the flooding problems. But that will take time.
City officials say they understand that homeowners are frustrated, but there is a certain procedure to things.
Spokesperson Kevin Neal said, “Our standard process is to check critical spots beforehand and stage road barricades at critical low-water crossings.”
Crews have already cleaned out storm water drainage ditches in areas prone to flooding. “We did a very thorough check and cleaning of everything in Arlington Heights immediately after the June 24th event and everything was clear,” Neal said, adding, “Our Field Operations crews checked all the Arlington Heights inlets yesterday. A few needed some cleaning, but there were no major issues.”
Wednesday afternoon crews loaded barricades and sand bags ahead of the storm.
Despite the outside efforts both Kirkwood and Jones said they couldn’t help but feel anxious.
Kirkwood said, “Every time rain clouds come up I’m terrified now, because I know how little it took on that day to do just that.”
City workers will be keeping an eye on the weather overnight and crews are on standby. If there’s any flooding city officials said the crews will be dispatched immediately.
(©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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