City of Abilene Working to Keep Elm Creek from Flooding


Elm Creek used to flood the homes and businesses surrounding it.

“I was here during the famous “Columbus Day Flood,” said Ray Jarrett, who works at a business nearby. “I watched large portions of the creek bank wash away.”

There were several more floods that would sweep through the North side of Abilene.

“It would flood and we would have to come and get all of our material up out of the water,” explained Jarrett.

Some neighbors nearby got lucky and missed of the flooding.

“It never got up in our backyard, but it would come up pretty high,” added Sam Hanson, a resident who lives along Elm Creek.

The City of Abilene eventually found a way to keep this creek from rising so fast and eroding away the bank.

“They came in with machinery and backfilled where the bank had already eroded away,” stated Ray Jarrett, “and they put it back to generally in it’s original state.”

They placed nets filled with rocks on the side of the banks and the residents who live along the creek tell KTAB its helped tremendously.

“I don’t expect well have to worry about the bank coming over and taking our building away,” said Jarrett

Another thing the City did was clear out most of the brush from this creek which helped the water flow faster and helps keep it from rising so quickly.

From the City Of Abilene regarding the Storm Water Services:

“The City of Abilene Storm Water Services Division has been very effective in removing debris and buildup from the creek beds within the City. Debris removal is critical to minimize the risk of obstructions within the stream flow. Obstructions cause water to back up, resulting in the flooding of areas at and upstream from the obstruction. Proper maintenance of the creeks assists in minimizing the probability of flooding due to storm events, and helps to keep the water flowing uninterrupted and allows the streets to drain more quickly.  Storm Water Services maintains nearly 60 miles of creeks and clears numerous choke points in five major watersheds of Abilene i.e. Cat Claw, Lytle, Cedar, Little Elm, and Elm (see watershed map above). Division also maintains 14 miles of pipe, 600 outfalls, 800 storm drains/segments, 41 city owned detention ponds, countless miles of drainage ways; mows 1200 acres of creek slopes about four to five times a year, and sweeps 1750 lane miles of streets all within the 110 square mile city limits of Abilene. All these efforts enable for positive flow of drainage to Lake Fort Phantom with minimum cresting.”

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