Sunday, September 19, 2010

Real People, Real Flooding

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has an article about the most recent Arlington flooding and what to do about it.  Some excellent points made in this one, also brings up some excellent questions.

Many residents are expressing an interest in being bought out of their flood-ravaged homes, with some blaming development for exacerbating the damage.

"There are a lot of unknowns," Lowry said. "The best-case scenario is 12 months to two years. But just with those condos, we're looking at 100-plus units. It could be a very lengthy process, and there are no guarantees."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation Program can leave homeowners in limbo as they wait to see whether their homes will be part of a buyout.

Texas Lone Star - Shouldn't the agency named EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT be able to help people in an EMERGENCY? 

"When we bought the house, we weren't in the flood plain, but now we are. It's from years of unchecked development," Saenz said. "I don't know when this is going to become a priority with the city -- maybe when somebody loses their life.

Texas Lone Star - Don't hold your breath, Mr. Sanez.  A little girl lost her life three years ago in a flood in Tarrant County, guess what's been done to the creek since?

One other avenue that Arlington could pursue for buyouts is the Army Corps of Engineers, but that does "take some time," said Elston Eckhardt, branch chief for civil works in the Fort Worth District.

As an example, Eckhardt cited the corps' involvement in an effort, beginning in 2002, to buy out homes along Onion Creek in southeast Arlington.

It has received federal authorization and matching local funding but is still waiting for Congress to provide funding, Eckhardt said.

Texas Lone Star - If the Corp and FEMA are involved, WHY would it take so long?  If their priority is protecting people and property why is their time and OUR money being spent on the Trinity River Vision? The money for the "Vision" was said to be "in the bank" as recently as last week.  WHY would Congress not provide funding?  WHO appropriates the funds?  Ask YOUR Congresswoman.

"I think it's a combination of an overwhelmed storm drain system with not enough previous ground," Gittiban said. "There's more asphalt, more concrete and roof areas."

Some have questioned why the homes and town homes were built in a flood plain. But Arlington officials say the area wasn't in a flood plain when many of the homes and condos were built.

"The flood plain grew as development grew," Deputy City Manager Fiona Allen said.

Texas Lone Star - We are sure Gittiban's statement was PERVIOUS ground, not previous.  WHO is responsible for growing the flood plain?  The developers or the city/county/agencies involved that should be regulating that?

"Anytime you develop upstream in a watershed, runoff increases," Lowry said. "To qualify that, you have to talk to a qualified hydrologist. But we don't believe this storm was in excess of a 100-year flood."

Texas Lone Star -  Guess what's downstream of the Trinity River Vision?  PEOPLE, Property and Arlington.

Don't worry Arlington, help is on the way in 2016, right?  Ask Haltom City about that.  You might also want to find out what the local funding portion will be by then.  Then, ask WHY it's taking so long?

No comments: