BELTON — Excessive rainfall events in recent years have caused flooding issues on Nolan Creek throughout the county, but the Central Texas Council of Governments is hoping to formulate a plan to prevent future flooding. The Council of Governments held a public meeting Wednesday to discuss ways to combat the issue.
The Council of Governments started a study in January to identify flood-prone areas and develop an early-warning system for areas along Nolan Creek.
Meetings with stakeholders — which include the cities of Belton, Nolanville, Harker Heights and Killeen — began in May.
At Wednesday’s meeting, consultant Eric Scheibe discussed the need and purpose of the study.
“There has not been a comprehensive model put together from Killeen all the way to Belton that evaluates everything,” Scheibe said.
He added that the study will use existing models and flood plain maps as a starting point.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We’re trying to build upon what’s already been done,” Scheibe said.
“If five or six detention ponds have been identified in each community of Killeen, Harker Heights and Belton, perhaps there’s an opportunity to collaborate and build three or four larger ponds that solve the same problem. Unless you did this on a regional scale, you won’t know the answer to that.”
In addition to examining flood plains, the study will also research emergency preparedness actions that can warn residents sooner.
“There’s a lot of new technology and advancements. A lot of people want to be able to pick up their phone at 2 a.m. when it’s raining and find out how bad the flooding is. There is new technology developed all the time,” Scheibe said.
“We want to find out if there are things that can be implemented to address (issues) during an emergency and in the aftermath of an emergency.”
Senior Planner Kendra Coufal said the Council of Governments is seeking public input to help identify problem areas. Residents can submit comments at www.ctcog.org.
“We even have an interactive flood-mapping tool where citizens can go in and, if they know that during the last flood they had four feet of water at an intersection near their house, they can drop a pin (at that location),” Coufal said.
When someone drops a pin on the map, they then have the option to provide additional information, such as the extent of flooding or any damage that occurred.
The study is expected to last through next year. A timetable for when projects will begin will be developed after the study is complete.
Wednesday’s meeting was the first of three gatherings to take place in Bell County.
The next meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Harker Heights Activities Center, 400 Indian Trail.
A meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center, 3601 S. W.S. Young Drive.