The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, issued its Periodic Inspection No. 10 report on the Dallas Floodway on September 25, 2014, which rated the system “Minimally Acceptable.” The new rating is an upgrade from the last such periodic inspection reported in 2009, in which the levees were rated “Unacceptable.”
As a result of the inspection the levees are no longer in a temporary eligibility status but in a continuous eligibility status under Public Law 84-99. Under PL 84-99, the federal government helps rehabilitate eligible levee systems of damage resulting from flooding.
Flood management systems are not static and change over time. All critical infrastructure such as the Dallas Floodway System requires ongoing investment to ensure it performs as designed in the future. Over 200,000 citizens live or work in areas behind the Dallas levees which protect $12 billion in property.
It took a tremendous effort by the City of Dallas in time and resources to achieve the rating upgrade, according to Rob Newman, director of the Fort Worth District’s Trinity River Corridor Project. The city resolved all 198 Maintenance Deficiency and Correction Plan items cited by the Corps in the 2009 inspection report.
“This a tribute to the hard work and dedication of City of Dallas employees to meet the Levee Safety Program standards set by the Corps,” said Col. Charles Klinge, the Fort Worth District commander. “Dallas citizens can have greater confidence today that their local government is reducing life-safety risks from major storms.”
The “Minimally Acceptable” rating recognizes that while some system components may be non-compliant with national Corps levee policy, the integrity of the system is not compromised in performing as intended during a flood event to the full height of the levee. In the 65 years since the Corps completed a major construction upgrade of the Dallas Floodway, the biggest flood, in 1990, only reached about halfway up the levees.