DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Homeowners in Denton County were warned to be ready to evacuate on Tuesday after a planned possible flooding along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The notice put some Denton residents on edge, but officials are now backing off of their plan.READ MORE: Texas Experiencing Another COVID-19 Surge
Several homes are located right near the water, and there were plans to open the floodgates at nearby Lake Ray Roberts by 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Once the Army Corps of Engineers fully open up the gates, officials explained, there was some concern that creeks — which are already above flood stage from recent storms — could become dangerous.
Not only that, but the Denton area is expected to see more rain — up to 12 inches — by Sunday.
Lake Ray Roberts is already full, so the floodgate plan was in place to get rid of the excess water.
Denton County Emergency Services had warned residents in about 150 homes about the floodgate plan, and stated that those homeowners could be asked to leave their property with only minutes notice.READ MORE: Administrative Court Judge Orders Mask-Wearing To Enter Dallas County Courthouses
Officials were initially not worried about the homes themselves being flooded, but were more concerned about the area roads being covered in water. If those roads became impassable, it would cut off access to any people who live along the river.
The Army Corp of Engineers, however, decided on Tuesday morning to cancel the plan to open the floodgates, because of new concerns that the homes would actually be flooded. They will now wait until after the next round of rain to make a decision on how to move forward.
Some water had already been released from the floodgate over the weekend and into Tuesday morning, and it started to creep into some backyards. “I’m going to lose everything,” said Melissa Hensley, who evacuated on Tuesday despite the plan being delayed. “My home, all my belongings — it’s scary.”
But there are some Denton residents who never intended to evacuate. “They open it up, let it out, they’re going to wash me out,” said Denton resident Jeff Manie on Monday. “Are they going to pay for it? I don’t have insurance, because I’m not in a floodplain. It’s never flooded before but, they open that spillway, that’s $500,000 house and barns gone.”MORE NEWS: Summer Break Ends Early For Some Dallas ISD Schools
Manie also argued that the Monday night warning came too late, and did not give people enough time to prepare for an evacuation.