SFA water scientists says we can learn from floods - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

SFA water scientists says we can learn from floods

SFA hydrologist, Dr. Matthew McBroom says communities still have a lot to learn about the power of floods. They create hazards, but also have their benefits. (Source: KTRE Staff) SFA hydrologist, Dr. Matthew McBroom says communities still have a lot to learn about the power of floods. They create hazards, but also have their benefits. (Source: KTRE Staff)
An engineered storm water retention basin helps control runoff during Nacogdoches downpours. (Source: KTRE Staff) An engineered storm water retention basin helps control runoff during Nacogdoches downpours. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Runoff in northern Nacogdoches off NW Stallings Drive following a sudden downpour. (Source: KTRE Staff) Runoff in northern Nacogdoches off NW Stallings Drive following a sudden downpour. (Source: KTRE Staff)
An engineered storm water retention basin helps control runoff during Nacogdoches downpours. (Source: KTRE Staff) An engineered storm water retention basin helps control runoff during Nacogdoches downpours. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Hydrologists are keeping a close watch on the record breaking river levels and the consequential floods.

From his SFA office, Hydrologist Dr. Matthew McBroom monitors history in the making. The Brazos River hit a century high mark earlier this week south of the Houston area. The result is massive flooding. McBroom believes all the concrete in the area does not help.

"You see a lot more runoff say for the same inch of rain," McBroom said.

McBroom believes some communities are learning from the mistakes of other's.

"One of the things we've been doing in Lufkin and Nacogdoches areas and a lot of urban areas is designing storm water retention and detention basins," McBroom said. "Just kinda a depressional area, but the goal is to store that water and let it release more slowly so we don't see a lot of these, or try to minimize, some of that flash flooding we're seeing."

The challenge is keeping up with an ever changing urban landscape. There's still a lot to learn.

"The data we're collecting now is letting us do a better job with the National Weather Service and the USGS and the other federal and state agencies to predict and mitigate some of these risks and hazards we're having as the landscape changes and we get more and more Texans," McBroom said.

The flooding, as unforgiving as it is, still has its benefits. Aquifers are recharged to provide drinking water, plentiful spawning grounds for fish are created, nutrients feed forested river bottoms, and coastal bays are sustained. All these are areas utilized by a growing population.

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