City of Belton installs flood warning system
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Ronnie Schoepf owns a barbecue restaurant in Belton. In September of 2010, he got a call from his employees that water seeping in under the door.
Nolan Creek had flooded downtown, and that wasn't a new occurrence. The creek drains much of Killeen, Harker Heights and Fort Hood.
"We put some towels down or something. It sounds funny to say now, but we had no idea what was happening,” Schoepf said. "I wish there was a way to fix the problem."
Yettie Polk Park in Belton was swept away in a flood a 100 years ago, and periodic floods have been a problem ever since.
After a careful study, city leaders realized not much could be done to stop future flooding. The geology of the area makes flood mitigation extremely expensive, and since that's out of reach, the city has decided warning is at least better than nothing.
"You're talking millions of dollars in cost and just a small percentage impact," Paul Romner with the City of Belton said.
Now, there is a flood monitoring system set up which transmits real time data to city leaders.
"We'll be able to more accurately determine what certain storms events do and how long it takes the water to come through the channel and to come into the city," Romner said.
While they can't prevent flood damage, they can at least get people out of the way.
"There is no stopping floods in Nolan Creek, they're going to happen,” Romner said. “They've happened before and they're going to happen again."
The flood warning system cost about $25,000 in all. About half of the system is already operational and they expect the rest to be completed by spring.