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Original Dallas Floodway, 1989 HCEL
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The need for flood control of the Trinity River came to the forefront of Dallas public attention after the May, 1908 flood – the worst the City had ever recorded, which resulted in the death of eleven people and the loss of more than five million dollars. The Kessler Plan - a result of committee action by the Dallas Chamber of Commerce in January of 1910 - called for the reclamation of the Trinity River Valley, which would involve the leveling of the river and development of a levee system.

In 1919, the Dallas County Levee Improvement District No.5 was established, the lines of which were later broadened, providing for the reclamation of 7217 acres of land in the City and County and 336 acres outside of the original District. The geographical boundaries of this new Joint Plan of Reclamation roughly followed the flood limitation line of the 1908 flood. Bonds issued by the flood control districts funded the levee system and four pump stations, which went online in 1931. The original Dallas Floodway was designed for a 300,000 cfs flow of water.


Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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