City of Sherman evaluates flood control options

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GRAYSON CO., TEXAS - It's been 7 years since a flood killed 6 people in North Texas. Two of them were Sherman residents. Today the Sherman City council met to talk about the recurring issue of flood control.

Although it was 7 years ago, many people from Sherman haven't forgotten the flood which claimed the lives of 2 residents.

Ernestine Harrell says she thought she was going to lose everything, "Water was coming up into my yard and it continued to rise very rapidly, and ended up coming all the way to my garage door and seeping under the garage about 18 inches."

Most of Harrell's backyard was underwater. She says it's because the bridge behind her house doesn't allow enough water to get through, acting like a cement dam during heavy rains.

"And it was going over the covert here and over the street and falling like Niagara falls into the creek on the other side," said Harrell.

In all, 89 homes, 270 apartments, and 40 commercial properties sustained damage in that 2007 flood.

Sherman Mayor Cary Wacker says the flood prompted the Stormwater study which was presented to the council today.

"This study really looks very thoroughly at all the issues that we have and all the potential options we have for addressing flooding in Sherman," said Wacker.

City Director of Public Works and Engineering Clay Barnett says if the proposed mitigation projects in the study were approved, significantly less flood damage would occur in the future.

"All the flooding would be contained within the creeks and channels. It wouldn't be over the bridges and overpasses. There would be no structures flooded," said Barnett.

The council reviewed the study's findings and a plan of action in its meeting Wednesday, and will vote in April on which mitigation projects the city can afford.

The plan in its entirety would cost about 55 million dollars.

Barnett says there are some federal and state funding options that would help with the cost, and he presented those to the council.