Wettest year in Amarillo also one of the more expensive - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Wettest year in Amarillo also one of the more expensive

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Mark Read, City of Amarillo Engineer Mark Read, City of Amarillo Engineer
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AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -  More than 30 inches of rain drenched a drought-stricken Amarillo last year. While it was much needed, others describe the rain differently. 

"It was just devastating," said owner of Le Chateau Pet Resort Dawn Hallgren.  

"It was just really a pain," said Catalpa Street resident in South Amarillo, Linda Hoskinson. 

The city describes the rain as expensive. 

"It actually cost quite a bit," said Amarillo City Engineer Mark Read. 

From Memorial Day weekend till the end of October the city spent a whopping $1.65 Million on last year's rain. Money that went toward renting water pumps to drain flooded lakes, employees working overtime, and damage repairs.

"It's something we don't normally see so it causes us to have to pull money from different areas to cover the cost for it," said Read. 

The city's Engineering Department spent $184,119.52. Employee overtime and equipment cost were over $20,000 from the Drainage Utility Department. Fuel for the pumps cost Municipal Garage $32,251.48. 

"The Street Department was the big one because of the repairs of all the streets and that was the $1.417 Million," said Read. 

Read says to prevent spending this much money in the future, the city is planning ahead -- like buying another pump rather than renting and deepening city lakes -- the first such project is ongoing at Martin Road Lake. Along with the City of Amarillo, many residents are calling this year a year of recovery.

Hallgren's business is off of 77th and Soncy, one of the hardest hit flood areas last year. She says her business is still trying to recoup after her septic tank went under water for three months. 

"We're still trying to recover, the income that we were use to didn't happen and we still have people we need to pay," said Hallgren. "We've done a lot to just reduce all of our expenses where we can."      

Residents on Catalpa street off of Western, found the flooding unbearable were some couldn't even live there anymore. 

"Most of the people had to leave, they couldn't live here," said Hoskinson. "Everybody got stuck because they're not use to driving in the mud so much. So, we'd have to pull everybody out." 

Despite the frustrating time last summer, many of the residents thank the city for all they did. Doppler Dave says the effects of El Nino are suppose to wear off this spring but as of right now, it's too soon to tell what our summer forecast will look like. 

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