Rain overflow from playa lakes impacts Amarillo residents

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 5:25 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - As rain continues to cover the Panhandle, some neighborhoods in the city are dealing with flooding in their own backyard.

Homeowners in the area of Soncy and SW 77th Ave are experiencing overflow flooding from a nearby playa lake.

Residents who live in the area said that they are fearful and concerned about damage to their homes.

“Typically any time you see four or five days in a row where we have rain, and even looking back to last week there was a lot of rain, then we’re just going to see these kind of things happening and obviously when we start building a community around those playa lakes, you’re gonna have areas that are gonna flood,” says City of Amarillo Director of Public Works, Donny Hooper.

Some residents of the area also said the water has reached their septic tanks, causing problems with their plumbing. In some areas, the playa lake has reached so far that fish are now on the residents property.

Rain overflow from playa lakes impacts Amarillo residents
Rain overflow from playa lakes impacts Amarillo residents(KFDA)

Hooper says as of right now, the drainage system is working as it was designed. However, it is difficult to prepare for the amount of rain the area has received.

“Making sure that we get one lake pumped down so it has capacity to receive the other and in the mean time we have to wait until there’s no rain in the forecast to do all of the above and get them pumped down. So it’s quite a dance to make that happen and to make sure we’re not causing another problem by pumping one problem,” says Hooper.

The City of Amarillo says that it is working on the issue, but they are not going to be able to pump the water out of the playa lake until the continuous rain stops.