Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Psst - Hey, Dallas. You're still downstream

The Dallas Observer is writing about their Trinity River project again and about the complete ineptness of the US Corp of Engineers (aka the same people who built the levees in New Orleans).

Jim Schutze is having a hard time getting the flood number for the Corp.  Maybe he should ask the NCTCOG for the Fort Worth Congresswoman's number instead.  He can ask about her son's project, Trinity Uptown, Central City, Trinity River Vision, Panther Island Pavilion, whatever they are calling it today.  He can ask what's going to happen in Dallas when the levees come down and the river is rerouted in Fort Worth.  He can ask how much experience and education her son has in hydrology.  He can also ask WHY the million dollar model of TRV (built in Vancouver) had to be redone...perhaps because the channel wasn't big enough to accommodate the water downtown?  If he's bored he can also ask what floating with alligators has to do with flood control.

Get ready Dallas, we're headed your way. And if you live on those lakes currently draining floodwaters to Dallas, YOU need to pay attention.

We need to rethink everything we thought we knew about flood control, which is everything we thought we knew about real estate development, which is everything we thought we knew about community.

If we think the flood problems we’ve seen this season have been bad, and if we don’t do anything about them, we’re in for a real nightmare in years soon to come. 

But here’s the real news. If the city of Dallas and the Army Corps of Engineers proceed with their plans for the Trinity River downtown, all of those flooding problems around the upstream lakes will get significantly worse.

How much worse? Well, we have a problem there. The impact of the Corps’ Dallas Floodway Extension Program on upstream flooding depends on a certain number. We used to know that number. Now the Corps says they can’t find the number any more. It disappeared. Even with all their engineers and scientists, they just can’t come up with that number now.

That’s completely crazy. They cannot not know. In fact they have to know with precision how much the new levees will back up the water downtown. This is speculation on my part, but the only reason I can imagine for them not to give me the number is fear. They must be afraid, during this time of flood emergency, that releasing the number will set off a grassroots rebellion in the communities around the upstream lakes.

In the current flood emergency, Mother Nature has said, “Look at the lakes, still 10 to 25 feet above flood stage weeks after the first heavy rains. Think about a 25-year-old scheme based on data and assumptions already proven by history to be materially wrong. Then think about the fact that Dallas still intends to do something to make things materially worse.” 

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