The City of Amarillo addresses flooding, playa lakes situation

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 8:24 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo continues to see a lot of flooding throughout town.

The City of Amarillo hosted a conference this afternoon to address the issues and the current situation of the playa lakes.

The recent flooding has added up--between Randall and Potter counties, the City says there’s been over one million dollars in damages.

“Our playa lakes, our drainage is at capacity, and Donny and his team, I applaud them, they are working extremely diligently to ensure our citizens are protected and kept safe and this water is going where it needs to go,” said Max Dunlap, director of emergency management, City of Amarillo.

They are currently pumping excess water from six playa lakes.

The water is then pumped into creeks, all the way to the Canadian River and then Lake Meredith

Donny Hooper, Director of Public Works for the City of Amarillo says all of the playa lakes, except Martin Road Lake are at or above capacity.

He says one contributing factor is more rain fell in southwest Amarillo than other parts of the city.

When pumping water, Hooper says they have to be careful when lakes are above capacity.

“We haven’t seen a significant difference in some of the lakes and that’s because we’re having to over pump them because now they’re over the banks, they are out in the streets, we’re not just pumping the lake anymore to pump it down, where you would see it visually going down, it’s now the streets and also the underground storm pipes and everything surrounding that lake,” said Hooper.

Hooper says we have at least two or three days of pumping to reduce the water in the lakes and that’s without any more rain.

“I can expect to see that over the summer, I mean, we could still be pumping down up into the fall just to get down to our normal levels if we go without a lot of precipitation here on out,” said Hooper.

He says they are pumping as much as the pumps will allow for.