The meeting Monday night at City Hall was packed with info and results, after much study by consultants, of the various ways that drainage infrastructure might help the very worst flooding problems in town. They agree that not much can be done about catastrophic floods like May 2015, which was more than a 100 yr flood. But a lot can be done with $12 million (the half reserved for infrastructure, with the rest reserved for housing needs and the administration of the funds), matched with city funds and grants. The infrastructure funding hopes to protect hundreds of homes from smaller floods (25 to 37 year floods). There have been many in the past decades. Hoping that this power point shown will be put online soon so we can send it out for you to view. One bar graph showing various years of floods, on the Blanco, was very illuminating. There were also many maps that showed details of each project. One project did some filling of low spots on the banks of the Blanco, capping this created ridge with a trail of some sort, either grass or pavement. Then a related project would compensate for the increased water in the river, if such a fill was done, by creating a chute that during high flows would send water to an oxbow type loop existing in the river, which normally flows but this would put more water in the oxbow during small floods. We have many questions about this project. Much more study and engineering, and contacting landowners ASAP we presume, will be done to see whether this can be done without harming anyone downstream. And to see if permits can be obtained for this kind of project. There were also many projects to create new or bigger storm drains and clear out ditches and enlarge them, sending more water to the river more quickly. Some projects were to improve drainage at intersections so that people can get out via the roads, during floods. There are five projects prioritized for now, and design will get underway in 2017 and 18, with some projects being able to be done quickly and some taking more years. All will need to be examined for what they do to flooding downstream. Will this make it higher or more frequent for those downstream, and how much?
Right now, Community Impact has a story online with a few details about these plans. https://communityimpact.com/austin/san-marcos-buda-kyle/city-county/2017/04/25/5-projects-san-marcos-hopes-will-improve-flood-resiliency/ . We will let you know if additional links come available to see the many maps and much info covered at the meeting. And there will be more public meetings.