$7.4 million floodwater retarding structure could be coming to Bell County

Local

A new flooding system is in the works in East Bell County.

The Elm Creek Watershed Authority proposing the $7 million project to help with flooding.

When torrential downpours come through Bell County, the low areas fill up quickly – causing flooding.

“Historically, there has been issues with flooding in the Elm Creek Drainage area – including these tributaries,” says Elm Creek Watershed Authority General Manager Calvin Sanders. 

The Elm Creek Watershed Authority is now asking for federal funding to install a floodwater retarding structure at FM-2086 of Apple Cider Road.

“The purpose of these structures is flood damage deduction downstream and protection of infrastructure like roads, bridges, utilities, fences, so far – but also homes,” Sanders continues.

They have installed about 34 of these across Bell County. The new one will cost around $7.4 million.

“Of that amount, about $7 million would be provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation services through their watershed program, and about $400,000 of local funds through the Elm Creek Watershed Authority,” Sanders describes. 

Sanders says this site has been the only one a funding request has been made for, and that they already had easements for this structure.

“We still have dams in the work plan that have not been constructed. This was the highest priority one,” Sanders says.

They don’t know when exactly when the funding will be approved.

“At this point, the application for federal funding is in place – but we have not been notified for any kind of approval of funding,” Sanders continues.

The landowners where the structure will be constructed have been notified, and if they have any concerns the public is able to speak at the beginning of the meeting this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Elm Creek Watershed Authority’s office in Temple.

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