Amarillo, TX - Playa lakes are on the rise once again in Amarillo.
After Tuesday night's one inch of rainfall, McDonald Lake at 45th and Coulter rose two feet. More rain on the way has city employees keeping a close eye on the lake and others throughout the city to avoid a repeat of last summer's flooding disaster.
For months, pumps have been working 24-hours a day to lower lake levels at playas across the city. Since Memorial Day weekend, the City of Amarillo has pumped 700 million gallons of water from McDonald Lake as well as the Greenways.
City Engineer Mark Read said those efforts are paying off as the city readies for more rain Wednesday night. "Most of them look like they'll do pretty well, even with three or so inches of rain in them," said Read. "Even the one out by the Greenways looks like with three inches of rain, it really won't be too big of a problem. It's going to come up quite a bit, but it won't get back into houses like it did back in the Summer."
However, residents like Doug Thomas are bracing for the worst. Back in July, his business across from the Greenways Lake was under water. Although flooding has gone down, he said the shoreline came up about 15 feet just overnight. "I'm certainly concerned," said Thomas. "They say there is supposed to be more rain tonight than there was last night. So of course I'm concerned about it, but what can you do?"
City employees will be stationed at playas overnight to monitor any potential flooding. "We'll do that all the way through the rain event until Friday morning or whenever this is supposed to end," said Read. "That way we'll be able to keep up with it and have a real time of what's going on with those lakes."
Read said McDonald Lake can take in about three to four inches of rain before flooding becomes a problem.