CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — Jay and Laura McNabb said they were seeking help from local leaders for drainage problems in their neighborhood off CR 180. They said no one was taking responsibility for problems stemming from greenlighting a commercial structure built a few years ago.
Cell phone video taken by the couple last weekend shows calf-high water flowing down CR 180 and rushing fast across their yard. The runoff lapped at their front steps just inches short of coming inside their home.
The couple has lived in their home for more than 10 years and said they have never had flooding in the past. They also specify that the home is not in a flood plain, and they do not have flood insurance.
They attribute the flooding to a nearby commercial development built several years ago. The couple said the buildings, which are mostly metal-roofed buildings on concrete slabs, accelerate rain runoff, draining into a shallow culvert that often overflows.
Behind the McNabb home is their neighbor’s unattached garage and RV cover, the water also reaching those structures. That couple is now replacing about 2 feet of the drywall along the bottom of their garage ruined by this flood.
The McNabb’s home is in Cedar Park’s ETJ, a buffer around a city limit that could be used for future expansion. Because of this, the McNabbs said they have been hard pressed to find out who they can hold accountable for the flooding issues on their property as this is somewhat of a jurisdiction “gray area”.
“They [the city] says we can’t help you, then we go to the city, and they’re real nice about it but say, ‘Look, I’m sorry. The city approved those permits. It makes it something we can’t enforce,'” said Laura McNabb. “Then the people who built it have signed permits, so apparently no one is responsible.”
Laura went before the Cedar Park City Council in February to share her concerns about the flooding. This is because she fears an upcoming development project could worsen runoff. At this meeting, the council had planning and zoning staff explain to Laura they had no liability for the flooding because of the location of their home.
Williamson County’s public information officer also said because the home is in Cedar Park’s ETJ, the county has no authority to approve construction permits, and by extension, is not responsible for the flooding or construction of any new developments.
The McNabbs have been advised to take whatever measures they can to reduce flood damage to their home. They made a gravel and dirt divider on the edge of their front yard but that was easily washed away by the waters. They are not sure of their next steps to prevent further damage.
“We’re a little in the country; we’re a little in the city. We live just outside the city and are close enough to get regulated but not close enough to get support,” said Jay McNabb.