Flooding in Dripping Springs sparks discussion on disaster preparedness

Hays

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — It’s a side effect you might not associate with population growth: flooding. It’s why city leaders in Dripping Springs are taking a good hard look at their infrastructure needs. 

Several inches of rain in a few short hours flooded dozens of homes and businesses two weeks ago. KXAN went back to check in with some people who didn’t see it coming. 

Two weeks ago, Randy Ford, the co-owner of the Dripping Springs restaurant Homespun Kitchen and Bar, found himself in four feet of water in about five minutes. 

He said his business is doing much better now. 

“It’s like a reset button. We get to start over and make a brand new fresh impression,” Ford said. 

I asked him how much the flood cost him. 

“I’ve got an invoice in my pocket right now. I don’t even want to look at it yet,” Ford joked. “We’re going deep, deep, deep in debt.”  

He finally revealed he’s about $60,000 in the hole. 

“All these walls have been ripped out and put back in. Everything in here is brand new.” 

“We know in Dripping Springs that are biggest threats are flash flooding and wildfires,” said Bonnie Humphrey, the chair of the Dripping Springs Emergency Management Commission. 

Humphrey and her team were just as blindsided as Ford that night. 

“There were a number of areas where it was the first time we had ever seen that,” Humphrey said. 

She says explosive growth has altered the infrastructure of the city and made drainage an issue. The city is working with FEMA to try to identify the flood plains for the future. 

“We may never have a rain incident like this ever again, but we need to look at what can we do the best we can to mitigate and keep those areas from flooding again.”  

The city also has plans to inventory each new area that flooded and replace culverts under city streets to handle the expansion. So that way the next time the rain pours, Dripping Springs will be better prepared. 

“I know they care about us and I know that they are going to start addressing the drainage issues as much as they can,” Ford said. 

If you live in Dripping Springs and you were impacted by this flooding, you can get your permit fees for construction reduced or even waived. The city is offering this concession to help with the rebuilding process. 

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