Million Dollar System Seeks to Mitigate Flooding
In August 2006, El Paso, Texas, was hit with a major storm that left the I-10 flooded for nearly eight hours. The city’s Stormwater Utility has spent more than $100 million over the past 10 years to prevent another such flood from occurring.
Their latest, and most expensive, project is a $24 million system that will pump water away from the I-10 into the Rio Grande.
Flooding occurs when rainfall runs down the mountainside and is trapped by the I-10, which is built on an elevated platform. Previously, it was necessary to shut down the freeway in order to pump out the water.
The new Magnolia Pump Station will transfer the water to a ‘force main’, which will then carry it out to the river.
Even with the new pump station, the freeway is likely to flood again if the city receives rainfall similar to the storm of 2006. However, the new system will cut the time removing the floodwater from eight hours to around two hours.