Flooding threat spotlights new Cedar Park program to manage storm water drainage
In Cedar Park, crews are keeping an eye on the city’s high-water problems, and not just during rainy weather. It’s part of a new year-round effort to mitigate flooding threats before they turn dangerous.
On Wednesday, more than 150 roads in Central Texas were closed at some point because of high water, but a closure on County Road 177 in Williamson County was infamous. It’s where a Leander school bus was washed away last year in another flash flood, a fact not lost on the nearby city of Cedar Park.
That’s why crews from Cedar Park’s newly expanded storm water drainage department are making the rounds. Voters let the city know this service was a priority for them back in May when they approved Prop A dedicating sales tax funding to flood control. Jennie Huerta, spokeswoman for the City of Cedar Park explains, “Our voters elected to redirect an eighth of a cent to form a dedicated storm water drainage program.”
It doesn’t sound like a lot, but thanks to Cedar Park’s booming economy it came out to $1.9 million the first year. Enough to hire new department employees and equip them for the job. Huerta adds, “We have an engineer who is our storm water drainage program manager. We also have dedicated storm water drainage crews.”
And just having this focused effort makes Cedar Park eligible for additional funding money. Huerta says, “It really does create a lot of opportunities for us to apply for grants for example from FEMA that we might not have been able to apply for before.”
By the way—as of this posting the effort was so new the city hadn’t filled all the positions yet. They were trying to get the word out the were still hiring.