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Study: Lack Of Drainage In Fort Worth Likely Caused Flooding

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Despite this summer's long, hot, dry stretch Fort Worth city officials are talking about flooding.

The city council is looking over the results of an almost year-long study about preventing floods citywide that could provide the foundation for a comprehensive flood control plan that would help neighborhoods outside of the 100 year floodplain.

The west Fort Worth Arlington Heights neighborhood is a good example of the type of flooding Fort Worth is looking to combat right now. There's actually a creek bed below where the neighborhood was built decades ago. Now when it rains heavily, the water that flows toward the creek goes right down the street.

"It starts on Western," said 30 year neighborhood resident Jim Vreeland about watching the flooding start on Western Avenue. "When Western backs up, it comes through the backyards. So when you see the rivers, the white water coming through down people's driveways it means this is going to fill up quick."

The city of Fort Worth has plenty of studies about areas in floodplains. But Jim Vreeland's house, and hundreds like his aren't in a flood plain.

A new study shows 75 percent of the buildings that have flooded more than once are not in a flood plain. In fact, the study says most were probably flooded because of inadequate storm water infrastructure.

Fort Worth has spent a lot of money on more than 140 capital improvement projects for flood control in the past five years, according to the study.

"Those have helped," said council member Dennis Shingleton who represents the Arlington Heights area. "But they're not the answer."

Councilman Shingleton said with this new study the city can have a big, citywide plan to stop flooding. One of the options the plan suggests is even buying up property to rebuild natural drainage in some areas.

"Property acquisition is on the table for us," Shingleton said. "That doesn't mean every home will be bought or subsidized or whatever. we are going to look at that and see if in fact it was then he is a solution. A reasonable solution."

It's now up to the city council to hold public hearings and then decide if it wants to use the study as its guide for flood management on the future.

(©2016 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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