Work is underway by the City of Kilgore to restore Turkey Creek following flood damage which occurred several years ago.
City Manager Josh Selleck said the work will improve the condition of the creek, which flows through Meadowbrook Golf Course, and its banks while easing the flow of water through the creek. Contrary to an erroneous media report elsewhere on the project, the improvements will not lessen flooding in the area around the creek.
“The real purpose of that project is to restore the creek channel to its natural condition,” Selleck said.
“This project is essentially to restore the bottom of the channel and to restore the sides of the channel.”
According to Selleck, the damage originally occurred during severe storms just over four years ago. In May 2015, a 10-year storm event dropped 4.5 inches of rain in 5 hours.
“During the 2015 flood, what we saw was huge sections of the banks upstream from the golf course that basically eroded off and deposited in the bottom of the channel,” Selleck said.
Those extra deposits build up over time and impede the flow of water through the creek. As a result, water can build up in certain spots.
“With the way that floods, the floodwaters there are 1,000 feet wide and 10 feet deep through there,” Selleck said, adding residents living near the creek on Sceyne Road and Horseshoe Drive had expressed concerns about water backing up rather than flowing normally along its course. It’s causing issues with standing water, a breeding ground for mosquitoes and an attractant for snakes.
While the project aims to improve water flow through Turkey Creek, it won’t reduce flooding in the area, which is extremely common with heavy rains.
“In no way is this to alleviate flooding issues. The flooding issues that are there are related to the fact that that whole area is in the flood plain.”
Instead, the project will help preserve the natural state of the creek.
“It helps us to maintain the channel. It will have better low flow through there.”
Selleck said the project has been proceeding for a couple of months so far and aims to wrap up by the end of the summer. When completed, he said, regeneration of grass and foliage around the creek sides would need to occur.
In addition to better water flow, the area of the creek will be easier on the eyes.
“It will look nice and be a lot easier to maintain. This is an operations, maintenance and a bit of aesthetic project. It’ll have all of those other positive aspects for residents nearby.”