Drainage Damage

The City of Lufkin's water drainage system is better than many others in the area. But city officials tell us after a certain amount of rain fall, there's only so much that can be done.

Lufkin Assistant City Manager Keith Wright said, "If you had a storm similar to what we had this past weekend in San Augustine, we would experience widespread flooding in the city of Lufkin."

Lufkin is still more prepared for flooding now than it was 15 years ago. Officials strengthened the city's drainage system after a series of major floods back in 1994 and 1995. And again in 2004 after part of Hurricane Ivan blew through Lufkin. Part of the improvements included building water detention facilities thoughout the city.

"It has significantly reduced flooding based on rainfall events where we should have had flooding and would have had flooding in the past which has not occured since those detention facilites were built," Wright told us.

It doesn't take a storm like the one in San Augustine to create dangerous conditions. Lufkin officials tell us heavy rains always cause problems, especially for drivers who try to brave large puddles.

"If the water's running fast through that area, cars can get swept away. It doesn't take a lot of water to do that. If that current's strong, people can get themselves into a bad situation," Texas Department of Public Safety Senior Trooper Greg Sanches told us.

According to a state survey, it only takes six inches of water to cause tires to lose traction. Twelve inches of water can make a car float.

"We have redone the infrastructure of the storm sewer to try to get water to runoff to a drainage feature such as a creek or a large ditch," Wright stated.

Lufkin officials are confident about the city's current drainage system. They tell us they're as prepared for a flood as they can possibly be.