Round Rock residents worried about flooding issues created by debris and garbage

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Owners of the Mack Phillips Tennis Academy in Round Rock say their flooded courts are part of an issue that the water district needs to address.

ROUND ROCK, Texas — On Friday afternoon, kids were swinging their rackets and serving on the courts of Mack Phillips Tennis Academy in Round Rock. 

But not every court is in use due to one of them being underwater from recent rainfall that swept across Central Texas. The tennis courts sit right by the lake. 

“It takes less rainfall to create a flooding situation,” said property owner Jim Phillips.

Phillips’ daughter, Keely, teaches tennis lessons and said because of the flooding, revenue is being lost by the day. However, the flooded court is not the major concern for Phillips and neighbors in the area.

They explain this issue is part of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed by the city and Upper Brushy Creek WCID since the courts are so close to homes.

Phillips explained the problem is drains get clogged with debris resulting in the flood waters inundating the court, however, he said with the few inches of rain that fell — it shouldn’t have produced such a widespread problem.

Phillips said they have reached out to the Upper Brushy Creek Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) about fixing the problem.

“[The Upper Brushy Creek WCID] confirmed that, ‘Yes, it’s clogged. We’re working on getting a scuba diver to come out and unclog it,'” Phillips said.

The local government office added that district staff visited the property on Oct. 30 and saw tons of debris and garbage, which they say could be why the drains got clogged. 

“It got flooded and a matter of a couple of days when we got all the rain,” said Phillips. “We got 3.5 inches and it hasn’t gone down.”

KVUE reached out to the Upper Brushy Creek WCID about the situation. and got this response:

“The tennis court property is situated within the District’s inundation easement (and within the 1% annual chance floodplain). Development within the inundation easement is generally restricted to parkland, sports fields, and similar uses, as this area is expected to experience periodic inundation. This is a rather common occurrence across the District depending on how and where the rain falls. The dams are designed to catch flood runoff and then slowly-safely pass that water downstream. District staff routinely monitor flood pool levels during significant multiday rain events; the increase in the flood pool elevation was consistent with the ongoing storms, giving no initial cause for concern. Last week’s rainstorms produced over 4 inches of rainfall over portions of eastern Round Rock resulting in several of the District’s dams’ elevations to rise. Dam 19’s watershed is one of the most developed in the District resulting in more runoff from increased impervious cover.”

In response to the area being prone to flooding, Phillips said, “We realize we’re in the floodplain, but what we don’t accept is the fact their drain is not working properly.”

Crews will be sending divers to clear it out on Monday, but mentioned it will take about five days after they do so for the water level to go back to normal. 

“It’s not just us. It’s these people that own these houses across the street. They are very concerned about that water getting in their house because each year two or three inches of rain causes a lot more flooding,” said Phillips.

David Parkansky and James Smetzer said they have lived in the neighborhood for roughly 31 years and are familiar with past flooding events, but noted recently it has only been getting worse.

“Some of these big events that we’ve had in the past, like the eight to ten ‘inches’ with what’s going on right now, would definitely put this whole street under water again — cut off all these neighbors. They wouldn’t be able to leave their homes and maybe water get into their homes,” said Smetzer.

Parkansky added, “We shouldn’t have this problem with such a little rain, because if we had another three inches this weekend, we would be standing in water right now.”

Phillips along with Parkansky and Smetzer hope to work with the city as one to find a permanent solution to what they call a preventable issue. 

“It’s a community recreation site, so it’s it’s something we don’t want to see go away, and so we really don’t want to sell to build up and destroy this beautiful lake,” said Smetzer.

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