Officials confirm flood controls doing job

SAN ANTONIO – A video clip from World News Tonight on Sunday left viewers under the impression that the San Antonio River Walk was completely flooded.

However, the video actually shows an inlet along the River Walk at work, discharging excess water into the San Antonio River.

"On the surface of downtown, we have several inlets and storm sewer systems that do discharge into the San Antonio River, as well as the San Pedro Creek," said Art Reinhardt, assistant director of Transportation and Capital Improvements for the City of San Antonio.

The River Walk that many tourists know is managed by flood control gates, controlling water in the central River Walk area as well as the main channel of the San Antonio River.

"We can automate those gates," said Reinhardt. "And, raise them and lower them to keep a constant water level in times of heavy rainfall."

Reinhardt said the process of flood control downtown starts upstream with the Olmos Dam.

As water makes its way through the dam and into downtown, the city has two tunnel systems in place, one on the East Side that goes underneath the San Antonio River and one on the West Side of town under San Pedro Creek.

The tunnels were built in the late 1980s and early 90s and are 24.5 feet in diameter.

"And, what they do is intercept the water that's coming downtown, taking it underground about 150 feet and then discharging it downstream to three channels that we have down there," he said.

Another project to enhance flood control that is underway right now is the San Pedro Creek Project, which is a Bexar County project.

About the Author: