City of Taylor promises a drainage fix following storms

Runoff from Saturday’s storm in Taylor continues to drain away, although a few spots of standing water still have to be avoided. On the Northside of town, near the intersection of Mallard Lane and Davis St, cleaning crews were busy Monday at about a half dozen homes.

Water was pulled out of soggy carpet, electrical systems were repaired.

Sandy Oranday spent the morning mopping up the last of what came into her house Saturday afternoon. “It only took 3 hours of rain and the next thing we knew the houses behind us started flooding through and it can straight down to us.”

Oranday took pictures of her backyard.

The event that swamped it Saturday sounded similar to a Gulf Coast storm surged.

“About halfway up our fence all of a sudden we saw the water creeping up and it was flowing through just like a waterfall. Could you do anything? No we just grabbed our kids and got out,” said Oranday.

Images of a flooded park across the street show how difficult it was to reach higher ground. It’s not the first time parts of this town have been overrun, although typically it’s happens on the southeast side and along Highway 79, near the airport.

An abandoned housing complex is an example of how catastrophic flooding can be in Taylor. "A few years ago I was here as resident were being pulled out of the high wate," explains Ron Gilbert. 

The city now has a new comprehensive drainage plan in place and just last month approved using about $2 million to continue that work. Ron Gilbert has doubts help is coming soon, which is why a few years ago installed two water pumps in his front yard.

Saturday, the pumps could not keep pace with what was rushing in.

“We tried to catch as much as we can, I brought my shop vac into the house and was sucking it up, trying to as fast as it was coming in but I got a little bit over the front of the living room and into half back into the house,” said Gilbert.

Gilbert says damage in his home was minimized by the vinyl floors he put in after a flood in 2015. Now he and his neighbors hope the remodeling job the city is doing on the drainage system will eventually work and will keep them dry.

The area near Mallard Lane and Davis St. is on a list of sites for drainage improvement, but it is not targeted as a top priority. Residents like Sandy Oranday say they want the city council to provide some relief if a permanent fix is not immediately done.

“We know its not going to happen over night, we are realistic this takes a lot of money and effort to get it done, but it still needs to be maintained to the best it can be and help us as much as you can, even if it is just making sure, if there is any storm coming through, come out clean it, dig it out as much as you can, prep it so we are able to get as much much water through those areas as we can,” said Oranday.