Increase in rainfall floods local playa lakes

Increase in rainfall floods local playa lakes

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Recent rainfall in our area has caused local playa lakes to flood.

McDonald Lake at John Stiff Memorial Park and Southeast Park were closed today by city officials due to the flooding.

At John Stiff Memorial Park, city officials have closed the entrance at Coulter Street because of the water that has made its way to the parking lot and along the popular walking trail.

"We don't have those natural water ways, the creeks or something like that to move water to a different source we have to use our streets as our drainage," said Public Communications Coordinator for the City of Amarillo, Jesse Patton. "That drainage goes to our playa lakes. Hence, why our playa lakes are elevated a little, especially McDonald park. We've been draining for the last week or so with all the rain, and it's going into the playa lakes."

Officials say the closures aren't based on total rainfall, but instead the cumulative nature of the rainfall. They add there are structures in place to handle the water.

"All park lakes we call our storm water control basins for runoff of our subdivision, and when they get in certain areas they're pumped to other areas, and eventually, they'll go north into the Canadian River," said Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Amarillo, Rod Tweet. "When you get an increased amount of rain and the soil is already saturated and temporarily you could have some high waters until it's pumped out or it recedes by itself."

Unless we see more heavy rain, residents can expect both parks to be reopened sometime next week.

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