Lubbock civil engineers say the playa lakes can handle about eight more inches of rain before it overflows. But the storm water drainage project can't...almost. Construction workers are laying down 72 inch pipes underneath the ground, and this is just the last part of the $30 million project.
About 60 feet deep construction workers are busy putting together 72 inch pipes. They've got about 100 feet more to do before the storm water drainage project is complete. Right now, it's partially complete. Buster Long, Dupree, Elmore and Andrews playa lakes are connected.
City Civil Engineer Keith Smith says the drainage they temporarily have in place can't handle torrential flooding. "Those lakes are interconnected and they flow to Andrews park from there. It's pumped to a small force main that goes to a storm sewer that goes to Yellow House Canyon," said Smith.
So, until the job is done here, the drainage won't work 100%. But when it is complete, "What we plan on doing with this Storm water Drainage Project, is to make sure the lakes are drained back down and so when we get another big rain, we'll have storage available to contain that rain," said Smith.
The drainage project will reduce the chance of flooding, but not completely eliminate the flooding problem. But, it will help the water drain faster.
The project will wrap up at the end of this month.