“The study is helping to identify how much flooding there is and what possibilities there are to try and mitigate some of that.”
MIDLAND, Texas — In June and July of 2021, heavy rainfalls flooded areas of Midland County and Ector County, causing headaches for some home and business owners.
“The study is helping to identify how much flooding there is and what possibilities there are for trying to mitigate some of that,” said Thomas Kerr Director of Public Works for the City of Odessa.
The Midland County Commissioners and leaders with the City of Odessa received information about a floodplain study, with a goal to minimize damage.
“One, it helps us understand and be able to control development, and what I mean by that is if a developer comes to us and says ‘we want to do this type of project here,’ we can with this information say this is not a good spot for that because that’s a flood zone,” said Andrew Avis, Director of Public Works for Midland County. “Whereas right now we may have an okay idea what may or may not be a flood zone, we’ll have specific information after this study.”
This is the first study done by Midland County, the information they previously had was decades old.
“The problem, the flooding in general, was studied by the federal government across the country, and including Midland County, so when you hear the FEMA map or the FEMA floodplain, when you hear those terms, that’s a 1990’s FEMA analysis,” said Avis.
Since then, Midland and Odessa have grown a lot and the area still is, so having updated information is important.
“As people move to Midland and homes are built, and roads are built, and businesses expand and buy property and build new facilities, having this information protects them and keeps insurance costs down and the destruction of property down,” said Avis.
Knowing where the water goes during a flood is important so that proper measures can be taken.
“Since we’ve started, we’ve been able to react more efficiently to the localized flooding that we saw in June and July,” said Avis.