Wichita Falls Resident Opposed To Drainage Improvement Project

Wichita Falls Resident Opposed To Drainage Improvement Project

Wichita Falls, TX- The city of Wichita Falls is looking into purchasing several homes along Monroe Street to make way for much-needed drainage improvements.

The city says when Monroe and Kemp Streets receive heavy rain, residences in that area are prone to flooding.

Public works officials said during a 100-year flood event, homes within the 2200 block of Monroe Street would receive some type of flooding. One resident Newschannel 6 talked with disagrees and does not want to give up her home.

"My house might not be the best in the world, but it's mine," said Deborah Hardin, a Monroe Street resident for more than two decades.

 She said it’s the home, she plans to retire in.

"I want to live here. I got a lot of memories here at this house. That ain't right. It just ain't right for them to take our houses," said Deborah.

Last week, Deborah and five of her neighbors received letters from the city about the Kemp-Monroe Drainage Improvement Project.  It would require them to sell their homes to the city and find another place to live.

"The culvert under Kell is undersized and can't handle that volume of flow for a hundred-year event, so we'll create a retention pond, " said Russell Schrieber, Wichita Falls Director of Public Works.

Schrieber says this area was designated as the city’s number one drainage problem in 2011. With this project, the city hopes to address long-term flooding concerns.

"We'll be able to collect that water, put it underground in a pipe and send it down in a pipe and send it down into a retention pond," said Schrieber. "The retention pond will be sized that it will only release what the downstream culvert under Kell can handle."

During the May floods, areas along Kemp Street experienced significant flooding, but Deborah said it did not affect streets in her neighborhood.

"If it floods it floods. That's why I got flood insurance," said Deborah.

Deborah intends to stand her ground and is hoping her neighbors will, too. She said the city is not being reasonable with the amount of money they are offering her for her home.

“The city is offering me, I don't know what it's based on -- $31,000 or a little more. I can't take that money and get anything else,” said Deborah.

The city said it plans to purchase homes based on the fair market value.

Deborah says based on what they are currently offering her, she could not purchase another home, but instead would be forced to rent.

The project is estimated to cost roughly $7 million and will be paid by the storm drainage fee residents see on their water bills each month.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6