Solving The Flooding in Hearne

By: Pachatta Pope Email
By: Pachatta Pope Email

Hearne's mayor, Ruben Gomez said the city made improvements to the city's drainage system to do their part to alleviate flood problems and he wants the Texas Department of Transportation to do theirs.

"For the most part it went well yesterday, but our main concern was on Highway 6 and Highway 79," Gomez said.

Gomez said the problem is that TxDot's drainage systems along those two highways is inadequate.

"We need more drainage along Highway 6 through our downtown area," said Gomez.

The mayor said in January he sent a letter to TxDot asking them to evaluate their drainage systems and make appropriate improvements.

"We've asked TxDot and shared the concerns with TxDot and we haven't had any response," Gomez said.

Bryan Wood, TxDot's official, said they responded to the letter in February with a letter of their own.

"Basically we said is that TxDot would be willing to do a drainage study to look at 6 and 79," Wood said.

Wood is in agreement with Hearne's mayor--Tx-Dot is responsible for removing water from state highways. However, Wood said the system is over 40 years old and the city's growth is inundating the system.

"A lot of development has occurred since then and as you add concrete or roofs the ground is no no longer pervious," Wood said. " Water can't soak in."

Wood said before they can do anything, they need to sit down city officials in Hearne and come up with a comprehensive development ordinance. He said a new ordinance would allow TxDot and the city to review solutions from both sides of the flood problem.

Wood believes if the two entities can come together a viable plan can be created, so when TxDot improvements are made they can handle both the growth and the water.

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