Big Country

Officials: Nothing could have prevented Hwy 6 washout at Cisco

CISCO, Texas - The massive amount of rain that hit the city of Cisco caused water to rush over the spillway at Lake Cisco.

The force of the water washed away 300 feet of State Highway 6 just north of town.

Texas Department of Transportation and city officials told KTXS nothing could have been done to stop the powerful flow of water coming over the spillway.

"It just goes to show you that even though we can build strong roadways when Mother Nature gets involved sometimes we're at her mercy," TxDOT spokesperson Andrew Carlson said.

The Lake Cisco spillway spewed out 25,000 gallons of water per second. The 8-foot culvert that was under the road couldn't handle the pressure.

"It was just an unprecedented amount of water," Carlson said. "The force against the Earth that held up the roadway was just too much."

Several Cisco residents KTXS spoke with said they're questioning if city officials did everything in their power to prevent the road from washing away.

"The problem is we've never gotten this much rain before," Cisco Mayor James King said. "Really the only thing that could have stopped this was not getting the last 10 inches of rain or if the state had put in a bridge."

King said the city does own pumps, but it wouldn't have been useful dealing with this amount of water.

"Even the largest pump the city possesses can't pump out the capital volume that we're talking about," King said.

He also told us about a flood gate that he said if opened wouldn't have changed the outcome.

King said his hope is that TxDOT replaces the road with a bridge, something that's being considered.

"'Could we build a bridge through here?' Yes we could. We could also rebuild the road the way it was but to allow for more water flowing through the culverts underneath the roadway," Carlson said.

King told us the city had questioned TxDOT about the size of the culvert in the past, worried that if a flood were to happen it would not hold up. TxDOT said there has never been a formal discussion about the diameter of the culvert.


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