Amarillo’s updated drainage system helps with recent flooding

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:28 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo’s drainage system is unique compared to much of the country, as it uses playa lakes to contain water.

Water pumps underneath the playa lakes were updated a couple of years ago so the city can now move water from an isolated area to a flowing channel like east Amarillo creek.

“There’s a lot more resources available for the maintenance operation of the drainage system so not only pumps but curb and gutter cleaning and cleaning of inlets,” says City of Amarillo City Manager, Floyd Hartman.

While it is not unnatural for rain during May, with recent rain flow there has been significant influx of the water in those playa lakes

While the system still presents challenges, the City of Amarillo says the most efficient way for our city’s drainage to decrease the possibility of flooding.

“Staff has done very well getting those pumps up to speed and keeping them running because this water has a lot of other things in it, you know trash and this and that and that hurts a pump significantly so it’s a huge challenge to keep drainage pumps compared to other pumps,” says Hartman.

Hartman says as of right now, the pump systems in every playa lake are working well and are up to speed, even with the significant and continuous rain that we’ve gotten recently.