Lubbock residents’ homes at risk, owners ask county to step in

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 7:43 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2022 at 2:47 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Some South Lubbock County residents say recent construction is putting their homes in danger, and now they are asking county commissioners to step in to correct the problem.

Michael Frith claims to have lived in the area for more than a decade. He says the water started to rise after the county rebuilt south Indiana. Now, every time it rains, he’s knee-high in the runoff.

“From the house across the street all the way to my house, it’s solid water all the way,” Frith said. “It’s just one big river that goes down the entire road here.”

Frith says the water comes up to his front door at times, forcing him to install a makeshift barrier out of bricks to keep the water out of his home.

“Our little cul-de-sac is not able to handle that much water,” Frith said. “It’s just a tremendous amount of water coming at a very fast pace.”

Frith says he and his neighbors have gotten by without serious damage to their homes so far, but he fears it’s just a matter of time before that happens.

“If we get a two or three-inch rain, which is not uncommon out here, we’re gonna be flooded out,” Frith said.

Precinct 1 commissioner Terence Kovar says part of the problem is the way County Road 7545 was designed.

“That’s actually a designated drainage flow through that road,” Kovar said. “It’s actually lower than County Road 7540 and 7550.”

Still, he says the county is working with an engineering firm on solutions, including building up a concrete barrier to control the flow of the water.

“It will slow the water flow down and force it also to go north and south,” Kovar said.

There are other factors at play. Kovar says someone, not with the county, built up an alleyway between County Roads 7540 and 7545 restricting the flow and pushing more water onto neighborhood streets. Repairs in the area were expected to be done by the end of October, but they were pushed back due to weather.

“We’re gonna have to move that to hopefully by Thanksgiving to be completed,” Kovar said.

If the repairs aren’t successful, it would be back to the drawing board for the county, and a new solution could come with a big price tag.

“If we really went through that entire neighborhood,” Kovar said. “When I say that I’m talking from 146 south of Woodrow road and from Indiana to University and we really tried to fix this drainage issue, you’re talking several million dollars if not five million.”

In the meantime, Frith is looking for his own solutions, including building up a barrier or fencing in his front yard. For now, he’ll have to rely on the brick levy at his front door.