Flooding frustration swells in Arlington

Arlington flood damage

Credit: WFAA

Residents begin the daunting cleanup of flood damage to their Arlington condominium units.

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on September 9, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Willows at Shady Valley condos

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ARLINGTON — Cleaning up after Wednesday's flooding is a daunting task, and many residents are growing angry with the City of Arlington for failing to fix Rush Creek — even though voters approved the expense in 2008.

It looked like mud that firefighters were hosing away, but it was raw sewage — inside and out, climbing up doors and seeping into sheet rock in 100 units at the Willows at Shady Valley condominium complex.

Restoring order here is top on the list in a place where everything is out of place.

Rush Creek is a well-known trouble spot whenever it rains, although it had never flooded like it did on Wednesday, when refrigerators and even automobiles floated down the normally-placid stream like bath toys.

Voters approved a $12 million bond package to improve the creek, but residents have seen no progress.

"They keep saying they're going to dredge it, they're going to dredge it... but they never have," said homeowner David Wade.

But Bob Lowry, a spokesman for Arlington Public Works, said this week's flooding does not increase the department's sense of urgency for the Rush Creek project.

"We're moving as fast as we can right now," Lowry said.

The city said it submitted a conceptual plan six to nine months ago to the Army Corps of Engineers, which is now collaborating on possible course of action.

But government action and the need to protect a citizen's biggest investment do not seem to move at the same pace.

The city said the most likely way to deal with Rush Creek is some combination of widening and deepening the waterway, along with buying out the most flood-prone properties.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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