Three phases of a major flood control project on the north side of San Antonio are almost complete. In 2002, a storm brought 8 inches of rainfall in 3 hours, and convinced local leaders that the Laddie Ditch needed drastic improvements. Our Alese Underwood shows us how this new project is expected to save both lives and property.
SAN ANTONIO --Flooding is a familiar sight around Woodlawn Lake during and after most heavy storms.
"When it rains hard out there, the roads go underwater and traffic comes to a standstill," said David Wegmann with Bexar County Public Works.
"It's like the lake was going to overflow," said Alejandro Soto, president of the Woodlawn Lake Community Association.
Soto remembers the storm in 2002, when more than 200 homes flooded and one person lost their life.
"I had a leak coming through and I looked and saw there was water all over the house," said Soto.
That storm was just one of many that prompted the city and county to initiate phases one, two, and three of the Laddie Ditch flood control project.
"This is one of our major projects," said Wegmann.
Flooding on Fredericksburg Road and Kampmann Boulevard will be reduced.
"The water just finds it's natural source and goes down Kampmann thinking it's still a river," said Soto.
Kampmann might be one of the biggest trouble spots every time it rains, but not for long. With these news improvements, more than 70 homes right around this street will be taken out of the floodplain.
Laddie Place sits on 26 acres with three detention ponds to hold water.
"This whole area is going to be an interconnected area of channels, underground storm sewers," said Wegmann.
As a result, Kampmann will have 3 feet less of water during heavy storms.
But the roads aren't the only places benefitting from the project; there's soccer fields, walking paths, and new trees.
"The home is your biggest investment and the one place you want to feel comfortable and safe," said Soto.
Because of a tragic storm and the projects that followed, neighbors finally can feel safe.
In order to make space for the project, the county bought the property of the old Northwest Center to the tune of $16 million.
Finishing touches are expected after Fiesta.
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