Istanbul’s Basilica Cistern has been holding water for over 1,500 years

Last week I got to thinking about flooding in southern Preston Hollow, particularly behind the Pink Wall and Northwest Highway … and it struck me.  There was a solution to area flooding staring us in the face since March.  Preston Place condominiums lot.

You see, currently we all know existing drainage can’t handle large, fast torrential rains, like the one we had yesterday.  In the south Preston Hollow area and Northwest Highway, there is enough flooding to lift and move cars a few times per year.  The thing with flooding is that first, you can’t change the rain.  So the only other options are to either increase capacity or to control the flow of floodwaters to keep water off the streets.


If you forgot Dallas’ torrential weekend rains, Monday’s return certainly brought those memories … flooding back.

What’s up with that?  It’s not like rain is something new to Dallas.  Sure, depending on whether your beliefs are fact- or fiction-based, climate change may be making rains heavier, but we’ve always had deluge-type rain (when we’re not in drought).

So why does this city flood like it’s never seen a drop of water? Why do we have to repeat, “turn around, don’t drown” and mean it when the water is coming up to the running board of the SUV? There are many reasons, some just mother nature, some brought on by neglect and — shocker — our city’s indifference to infrastructure.


E. Lake Highlands Drive was washed over by the Dixon Branch as last night's storm caused flash flooding in areas throughout East Dallas.

E. Lake Highlands Drive was washed over by the Dixon Branch as last night’s storm caused flash flooding in areas throughout East Dallas. (Photo: Jo England)

The water flowed swiftly and steadily down the slope of Lake Terrace to E. Lake Highlands Drive, and on toward Dixon Branch, the nearby creek. The waters began to creep up over the banks, and then over the curb, and then covered much of the street. High water had come, but with more rain in the forecast could hell be next?

This wasn’t an uncommon theme last night, as several East Dallas residents dealt with flooding, especially those near creeks and ditches surrounding White Rock Lake Park. While flash flooding in Houston drove home the real danger of getting caught in rising water while in your car, what about those who had never imagined floodwaters invading their normally dry homes?

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A woman and two children inspect the flooded greenbelt at Lawther and Northwest Highway. (Photo: Jo England)

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Access roads from White Rock Lake to Buckner Boulevard were taped off by police as several inches of water covered them. (Photo: Jo England)

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An access road at Buckner Boulevard and Northwest Highway was still under several inches of water after last night’s storm. (Photo: Jo England)

That’s what had Lori Roberts terrified last night, as she watched the drainage culvert near her Casa View Haven home quickly become the kind of crested rapids that rafters love. But then it topped the concrete banks and crept up the street, and then up her driveway, and then perilously close to her home.