If you were looking for a relaxing Sunday, Fort Worth's popular West 7th area might not have been the best choice this weekend.
"It started raining and five minutes later I looked outside and the streets were just flooded," says Paige Guyton, who lives near University and Lancaster. "The water was coming over the curbs."
Guyton took out her phone and documented the floods that appeared quickly.
"Literally waves of water just coming down the street, on top of my car on the curb to the point where it got into my apartment," she says.
She saw cars get caught in what's otherwise a heavily-traveled area.
"That’s the main concern with this flooding," Guyton says, "is just the amount of people populating this area now and having this water and all these cars coming through. It's definitely becoming an issue."
"It's frustrating for me," says Greg Simmons, who works for the city's storm water management department. "That’s our job to try and prevent those sorts of things from happening."
While this area's popularity is relatively new, its drainage pipes are definitely not. Simmons says they were installed nearly 100 years ago and have not been updated since. Simmons says they just aren't equipped to handle the current capacity.
"It’s a concern," he says of the current situation.
Despite the city's awareness of the problem, Simmons says the West 7th area is not currently slated for any improvements.
"It’s all a matter of priority. The city has a limited amount of resources, there’s all kinds of needs," Simmons says, adding there is a prioritization matrix they use to prioritize projects.
The project that would fix this area, as well as the area near Montgomery Plaza, would cost up to $50 million, Simmons says. The department's yearly improvement budget is about $12 million.
Simmons says the city is actively looking for additional funds to make it happen sooner, and they are monitoring the current system before and after storms. But in the meantime, he says if you know rains are coming, take precautions.
"I don't know if they know the severity of how quickly it can rise and how many people are down here," Guyton says. " Something worse can happen besides car damage or home damage."
Concerns that, for now, will continue.
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