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Master Draining Plan could rid of flood plains in Abilene

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ABILENE, Texas (KRBC)-With a new project within the master drainage plan, the city of Abilene is hoping to eliminate its flood plains.
Carmen Deville and her family moved to Abilene only a few years ago, but she said she’s noticed what many have known for years–that Abilene has a deteriorating water drain system.

“Just given the storms over the last few days that flooding has been an issue,” said Deville. “Streetwise definitely the ends–huge puddles–I mean big ol’ wades of water. And, yeah, no I would definitely say it does affect our lawn and coming up to our front door for sure.”
Greg McCaffery of the public works department for the city of Abilene agreed there are severe issues with flooding. He said Abilene’s drains do not facilitate water properly.

“Each of them is only designed to accommodate a certain amount of flow, and once you start to exceed that, that’s when the water backs up and you start to see that incremental flooding,” said McCaffery. 
After years of studies, the city has found a major solution to chronic flooding–diverting Elm Creek, which would essentially eliminate its flood plains.

“There’s approximately about 5300 residential homes that would be impacted should that Elm Creek diversion project go forward,” said McCaffery.
Deville said she is on board with the city’s master plan especially in terms of improving the town’s infrastructure. 

“They’ve talked about how potholes [are] an issue, but you know, it rains so much, that I feel like potholes are always going to be an issue because the streets are the drainage system,” said Deville.
In addition to other possible ways to fund the project including a bond election, the public works department is considering federal or state assistance, which in itself may be a challenge.

“The unfortunate thing–there just aren’t a lot of those dollars out there right now, and they’re very competitive,” said McCaffery.
View the City of Abilene’s slideshow of its master drainage plan here.

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