January 28, 2005

What Development Requires...

Amarillo, Texas needs to rebuuild a lake across the street from a WM Supercenter; specifically, they have to drain, dig deeper, and refill McDonald lake. Why? It's not just the fault of WM; it's the condos being built, the WM, the Lowes, and all the other development that are creating more runoff than the lake can currently handle:

Long ago, McDonald Lake was a natural playa that formed from storm water collecting at a low point in the prairie. The lake spanned the area, even west of what is now Coulter Street.

Commercial and residential development in Sleepy Hollow, Puckett and The Colonies pushed the lake's borders in, and each new bit of concrete and asphalt increased the storm water runoff into the lake.

The Colonies subdivision is still being built, and it's only a matter of time before the runoff exceeds the lake's capacity and starts flooding neighborhoods, City Manager Alan Taylor said Wednesday.

"If we do nothing, (it's) very likely," he said. "And even more important, very likely it will take out the (Xcel Energy) substation" at the lake's northwest corner.

Although the city plans to refurbish the lake for recreational uses such as fishing, hiking, picnicking and other outdoor pastimes, that part of the plan will cost $450,000 - a fraction compared to the $4.2 million price to renovate the lake for flood control.

Posted by Kevin at 10:32 AM