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McLennan County takes emergency action to prevent homes from flooding near Cow Bayou 5

Cow Bayou 5 floodplain
Posted at 5:55 PM, May 21, 2024

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas (KXXV) — The McLennan County Commissioners Court came together for a meeting on Tuesday, where they took emergency action to avoid flooding nearby homes.

  • Another three to five inches of rain could lead to an overflow of the dam, so to prevent flooding in nearby homes, McLennan County will be adding pipes in the emergency spillway.
  • A McLennan County Engineer said the homes are at risk because they were built too close to the flood zone.
  • Neighbors near the area have taken action into their own hands by adding a pump into the flooded area and pumping out water into a nearby creek.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

“This is all my backyard — trees and everything. I have a cabana over there, and it’s totally underwater,” Faye Johnson said.

Faye Johnson lives in Bruceville near Cow Bayou number 5 floodplain — her backyard is almost completely underwater.

She can barely see her $52,000 solar panels.

“That’s our solar panels, and they were totally underwater," Johnson said.

"I'm hoping they work when the water goes down, but I don’t have faith that they will."

Johnson tells me her yard has looked like this for at least a week, and it took less than four days to flood.

McLennan County Engineer Zane Dunnam tells me one reason these homes are facing flooding, is that they were built too close to the flood zone.

“They’re actually in the inundation zone and the floodplain," Dunnam said.

"Unfortunately, they built them in a very low lying area, and so any little bit of rain will flood their house."

Another three to five inches of rain could lead to an overflow of the dam.

To avoid flooding nearby homes, McLennan County took emergency action and will be adding pipes in the emergency spillway.

“One end of the pipe will be in the lake — the other will be over the emergency spillway crest and will be diverted to the creek downstream," Dunnam said.

"Then, they will get a natural siphon running through those pipes and the water will lower."

A neighbor did show us the overflow zone, and showed me the water coming into the property.

They also showed me how they’re taking measures into their own hands — adding a pump into the flooded area and pumping out water into a nearby creek.

As for Johnson, she believes her home is high enough that it won’t flood, but she’s concerned about her property and her neighbors.

“We're supposed to get more rain — I don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said.

Dunnam tells me it’ll take a day to add the pipes, but it will take a few weeks until the water really begins to lower.

He’s hoping that with the pipes, it’ll be low enough to where these surrounding homes aren’t affected by the incoming rains.


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