And the Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down

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And the Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down

Photo Credit: Blake Harris

Photo Credit: Blake Harris

Photo Credit: Blake Harris

Max McGuire, Writer

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This fall has had an unprecedented amount of precipitation, with rain pouring down almost every week. This rain brings along many benefits to our campus. The grass and trees get the water and vitamins they need, especially after a very dry summer. However, this perpetual rainfall can also bring about severe flooding like Lake Cistercian in the lower parking lot. This has already happened several times this year, while in years past it only flooded once the whole year.

The reason the creek near the lower parking lot floods so much is that when there is an excessive amount of rain, the Army Corps of Engineers has to let water out of Lake Lewisville, the flood control lake for the area, so its own dam does not overflow. The water then travels down the Trinity River where it branches off into our own creek and overflows into the lower parking lot. This release of water from Lake Lewisville, combined with the excessive amount of rain we have been having this fall, is a sure recipe for disaster for our lower campus.

Cistercian was also built in a floodplain; the problems created by this floodplain are aggravated by the fact that water is also redirected down the Trinity so it doesn’t flood downtown Dallas. Every time the parking lot floods it only costs us about one to two thousand dollars for the repairs. However, this year, since the parking lot has flooded several times, the price really adds up. One of the worst floods started on the day of Closing Ceremonies in 2015, when the flood water covered the entire football field and even permeated the concession stand. The school had to replace the whole track and fix all the damage that was done to the concession stand. The total cost of the repairs was about half a million dollars. The paint on the track washed away completely, and the baseball field also ended up being underwater. This year the flood waters even damaged the personal property of students who left their cars in the lower parking lot while they were in Austin for a football game. A couple of lucky people got their cars out in time. However, some very unlucky ones did not have the time to move their cars and they ended up getting seriously damaged and, in some severe cases, totally ruined.

The flooding is unfortunate because there is not a lot we can do to prevent it. We cannot put up any dams or dikes on the Trinity River because that water would then be funneled downtown, where the flooding would be much more catastrophic. In addition to doing damage to our campus, the flooding also severely complicates the football schedule. Towards the end of this year’s season, the walkway to the field was covered by a foot of water, so getting players to the field was quite an arduous task. Players and coaches came up with some pretty smart ideas about how we could get to the field, but luckily the water level receded just in time for the game. The Cross Country team was also affected by all the rain and flooding. Coach Roane found other ways to allow them to train, rather than just canceling practice because of the rain. They often had to run inside, doing lots of figure eights using the two gyms and the locker room staircase many times. This grew to be very repetitive very fast, and the team was all hoping that the rain would end quickly so they could get back to their normal routine.

As devastating as this flooding might be, it does have some benefits to the wildlife that lives on our campus. After every flood, you can always see some very beautiful birds down on the water’s edge or other creatures that lives around campus. In fact, a lot of Cistercian students, especially the middle-schoolers, thoroughly enjoy the fact that our school grounds are occasionally the site of a lake, as it provides them with an unusual spectacle to get through the monotony of a school day. Flooding in the parking lot is something that has and will continue to devastate our school for years to come, but combined with its effects on the local wildlife, it is something that makes this school quite different from any other in the metroplex.

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