ARLINGTON, Texas - The city of Arlington is preparing for an emergency in case a dam collapses and floods streets.
The privately-owned Prestonwood Lake Dam is in a North Arlington neighborhood near Lamar and Green Oaks boulevards.
Inspectors reportedly found erosion around the dam because of all the recent rain. They said a failure of the spillway is imminent.
The city believes homes in the area will be okay. But if the dam fails, culverts could overflow and roads could flood.
Residents say the dam has been deteriorating for years. After Wednesday’s rain, city engineers have told fire officials it’s now on the brink of failing.
Arlington worries what will happen downstream when the dam breaks. Culverts and drainage pipes under Green Oaks Blvd could get clogged up and flood the road and maybe cause other problems.
“Our concern is where does that water go if another dam forms downstream,” said Arlington Fire Deputy Chief Mike Vogel.
Homeowners say over the years they’ve seen the lake has gone from 15 feet deep to only a few feet.
“When it rains, it comes over Lamar Blvd and silt and sediment and all kinds of stuff floats down there,” said homeowner Bruce Hammond.
The hillside is eroding away and so is the amenity of having a lake in your backyard that could soon turn into a creek.
Cost estimates for a fix are as high as $1 million, and that would fall on a couple dozen homeowners around the lake.
“No matter what washes from the city into the lake, once it’s here it’s our problem,” Hammond said.
Mayor Jeff Williams issued an emergency proclamation to warn residents and hopefully reduce property damage.
The city said workers are ready to clear clogged culverts and block off flooded roads if necessary.