Flooding: City Holds Special Meeting

The City of Amarillo held a special meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss and vote on two agenda items and hear from the public, all concerning the flooding so many have dealt with for nearly a week.

The two agenda items, one to extend Mayor Stanley’s Declaration of Disaster and the approval of funds to lease the temporary pump being used at Greenways Playa Lake, both passed with 4-0 votes. The Disaster Declaration will be extended 30 days.

Among those who took to the podium were Christine Andrews. She and her husband own the South Georgia Laundry located at 2510 SW 45th Street. Andrews said her business – and others – have been closed for nearly a week, leaving them unable to generate revenue for themselves and, in-turn, tax revenue for the city. Andrews also noted her employees are not able to work nor can their customers get to what some might consider a mainstay business in that area of town.

Justin Long who resides on Mockingbird in the Paramount/Olsen neighborhood, brought up pump concerns regarding the Playa known as Lake Lawrence, which has much of that area flooded. He said he was able to tell recently that there was a pump issue in Lawrence Lake. “One appeared to be temporary while the other was just gone, had a pallet over it,” he said.

Assistant City Manager Floyd Hartman told KGNC News after the meeting the pumps at Lawrence Lake were recently repaired and the power relocated for safety. According to Hartman, “There’s two pumping locations in operation today. One of them is a permanent pump on one side working, the other is a temporary pump to replace that broken pump on the other side. There’s two sets of pumps working at Lawrence Lake.”

The flooding being experienced by Andrews and others in the area of Georgia between I-27 and 45th is being caused by the Playa lake known as Bennett Lake. It is drained by a single pump which is currently shut off as that lake feeds into Lawrence Lake. Hartman says city design engineers are being asked to no longer use this method in the future.

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