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Lake Rockwall Estates Flood Update

(ROCKWALL, TX – June 4, 2015) The homes of several Rockwall families have been flooded by rising water as recent rains have filled Wallace Lake. This area is a part of the Lake Rockwall Estates Subdivision that was developed in the 1960’s prior to its annexation into the City of Rockwall in 2009 and prior to the neighborhood being regulated by the City’s development standards.

While these homes are located in the  100 year flood plain, the flooding is no less tragic for affected families. Much of the area is still covered with water. The Rockwall Fire Department responded to rising water and in the interest of safety, requested that Oncor disconnect electric utilities to the flooded homes. The Fire Depaitrnent also contacted the Rockwall County Emergency Management Coordinator who arranged for assistance through Rockwall County Helping Hands to secure local temporary housing. The Kaufman-Van ZandtRockwall Soil and Water Conservation District, who operates Wallace Lake for the State of Texas, also took the measures it could to facilitate increased release of water from Wallace Lake; however, reducing the water level of the lake will take more time – even with the additional release measures in place.

Since flooding has occurred, additional steps have been taken by the City and others to help the families affected by rising water:

• The Rockwall Fire Department and the Street Department have worked together to inform residents, install barricades, and keep motorists off the streets.

• City Staff and Rockwall County Emergency Management have worked with Rockwall County Helping Hands to temporarily relocate the affected families to local hotels. Some families initially declined this assistance from Helping Hands but have since indicated that they may have a need for temporary housing assistance, and this is available to them.

• Losses and damages in Rockwall County do not meet the federally established levels to qualify for federal assistance to affected residents. The City Manager’s office is currently working with local leaders to raise private funds to help replenish the emergency funds at Helping Hands to both help families displaced by the flooding and others that may have current and future needs. Early response by Rockwall residents has been good, and others are working to raise more private contributions locally. Contributions and assistance will be managed by Rockwall County Helping Hands.

• Rockwall Fire Chief Mark Poindexter and City Engineer Tim Tumulty met this week with the Kaufman-Van Zandt-Rockwall Soil and Water Conservation District, which operates Wallace Lake for the State of Texas. The Conservation District had previously installed additional mechanisms to help drain Wallace Lake more quickly. At their meeting today, attended by Fire Chief Poindexter and City Engineer Tumulty, the District has approved additional measures to increase the flow of water out of Wallace Lake. Even with these additional efforts, it is expected that the additional time required for the lake to fully recede will be significant.

• The City’s Building Official visited the site to make a preliminary assessment of the damage and will return once the water recedes so that building inspectors can better evaluate the damage to the structures. • At the request of several of the affected residents, the Rockwall Police Department has increased patrol of the area where the flooded homes are located.

• The City of Rockwall has worked in cooperation and coordination with the Rockwall County Judge and County Commissioner, Emergency Management Coordinator, the Soil Water Conservation District, the Director of Rockwall County Helping Hands, and the Area Director of the Red Cross to determine the best ways to lend assistance for cunent needs and to plan for those that will be needed after the water recedes.

• Representatives of several families whose homes were flooded met with Fire Chief Mark Poindexter who is heading the City’s efforts to assist in recovery. Chief Poindexter provided as much information as was available at the time to those residents and has scheduled another meeting which will be open to the affected residents to provide additional updated information.

• This scheduled meeting will be attended by various representatives of the City (Fire, Police, Engineering, and Building Inspection) and other agencies (including The Red Cross and the Rockwall County Emergency Management Office). Affected property owners who need additional information about the meeting, may contact Joey Boyd at 972-772-6408 or jboyd@rockwall.com Families displaced by flooding may also contact Rockwall County Helping Hands for other assistance by calling that agency at 972-771-4 3 57. Anyone wishing to help families affected by flooding may do so by making a contribution (marked ” flood assistance”) to Rockwall County Helping Hands, 950 Williams Street, Rockwall, Texas 75087.

Submitted by the City of Rockwall.