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Central Texas neighborhood faced with recurring flooding asking for help

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:30 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Homes, garages, and sheds surrounded or flooded every time there’s heavy rain.

It’s a reality for residents in one Central Texas neighborhood with no immediate solution.

In the Speegleville area just outside of Waco on Ashland Drive, water feeds right into the area and creates massive flooding issues.

“Anytime we get a significant amount of rain, and when I say significant an inch or two of rain, it starts to accumulate here,” Steve Hilliard, a homeowner in the area, said.

Hilliard has lived in his home for about two years. He says there isn’t enough drainage, the drainage that exists is often blocked, and people’s belongings are being damaged.

“We are getting damages on our fences,” Hilliard said.

“We got water up under the foundation of our house, approximately six inches.”

His concern is that it will only get worse with more development and county engineers agree.

McLennan County Engineer Zane Dunnam says the homes built in this area were put right in the middle of drainage swales, basically runoff channels, and have created this problem.

“As more houses develop in this area, we are going to get more water runoff because there is more asphalt, more pavement and it has nowhere to go,” Hilliard said.

He says he needs something to be done.

“It’s frustrating and concerning,” Hilliard said.

However, solutions for the issue don’t come cheap.

Some options include digging deeper ditches that could cause safety concerns. Engineers also say they could buy out the houses that exist in the drainage area but there is a lack of cash to do it so they say relief for Hilliard and his neighbors isn’t expected to come anytime soon.

KWTX is told many homes in this area were built back when certain regulations were not yet in place to avoid issues like this.

County engineers have been out to assess the area but any fixes are at a standstill.

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