The city of Weatherford has come to the rescue of both Holland Lake and several area residents who will soon no longer have to deal with the danger of flooding.
In a project that has been ongoing for over a year and is expected to be completed by October, the city purchased portions of the residential properties that were below the flood plain and is inserting a modular wall along the channel to stop erosion issues.
“This also gets the residential properties out of the flood plain,” said City of Weatherford Communications and Marketing Director Blake Rexroat.
The city commissioned a watershed study of the Holland Lake Creek Watershed in 2013. The study identified several issues, with the primary one being creek erosion on private property within the Timber Creek Addition that was adding sediment to Holland Lake and threatening the long-term use of the lake itself.
“The erosion could ultimately threaten the homes in Timber Creek,” Rexroat said.
The study recommended a number of improvements to the creek to address these issues. First, stop the erosion with a series of hardened plunge basins. Second, construct a retaining wall between the creek and residents. And third, Weatherford should own or purchase any area where such major drainage improvements are needed.
The city purchased the 100-year flood plain area from the owners.
Work being done includes:
▪ Along the edge of the channel, and what will be the new floodplain limits, the city is constructing a modular block wall to protect the residences and maintain the conveyance of storm water within the natural drainage way.
▪ Behind the wall, the back yards of the homes will be re-established at an elevation above the new wall and floodplain. This will also allow some relief to the existing homeowners regarding flood insurance requirements.
▪ Additional measures for erosion protection are also being constructed as part of this work. They include natural stone drop structures and plunge basins to prevent excessive erosion.
The modular is being made by a company named Stone Strong Systems. They are interlocking hollow cavity precast concrete blocks, varying in sizes from 18-36 inches tall, 48-96 inches long, and 28-86 inches deep with chiseled stone façade where block faces are exposed.
The total length of the wall is around 1,200 feet and functions structurally as a gravity wall system. Once completed, each large block has a weight of almost 12,000 pounds.
“The project is designed to remove residents and their property from the flood plain/flood prone area, thereby improving their safety and peace of mind,” Rexroat said.
The total cost of construction for this project is just over $1.8 million, and funding is provided through Storm Water Utility, Rexroat said.
“The Holland Lake Watershed Study and its recommendations is a great example of long-term community planning and implementation to address major issues,” Rexroat said.