AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – As historic flooding and rainfall have impacted residents in the Amarillo area, along with in Potter and Randall counties, some residents, specifically on the southern city limits of Amarillo into Randall County, and governmental entities have expressed concerns surrounding the disaster response, specifically the response from the city of Amarillo. 

According to previous reports by, governmental entities, including the city of Amarillo and the commissioners’ courts of Potter and Randall counties, established, and eventually extended their respective declarations of disaster because of recent rainfall and flooding. Most recently, Amarillo saw an additional onslaught of rain late Wednesday evening and into Thursday morning, causing evacuations in the area of South Georgia. 

On Wednesday, the Randall County Commissioners extended their disaster declaration originally signed on June 1. According to previous reports, the extension in Randall County allows the county to continue to collect damage assessments for citizens to be able to qualify for relief. 

During that meeting, officials addressed concerns from residents on 77th Street, individuals who live right on the city line. According to previous reports, those residents were forced to evacuate because of their homes being flooded and expressed frustration with a lack of available resources and a lack of communication. 

Randall County Judge Christy Dyer told after Wednesday’s meeting that her understanding was that the city of Amarillo’s Environmental Health Department had “knocked on every door… contacted every citizen (on 77th Street) and made them the offer for a safe hotel room to stay in.” Dyer claimed that her understanding was ultimately the case. 

“This was news today that that had not been done,” Dyer said, and so we will pivot, adjust as we do in Randall County. We will do what we can to provide any assistance that we can to those citizens. The city of Amarillo had said that they wanted to be able to help those citizens, they realized the impact of it. We gave them the opportunity to do that. I’m saddened that that isn’t the case. But as soon as this interview is over, our fire chief, our sheriff, and anyone else in the county that can provide any type of tool that will help those citizens will be immediately out there.” 

Ron Stone, a Randall County resident, claims that the only thing the city of Amarillo’s Environmental Health Department has done is let residents know that their water needs to be boiled. Stone stressed that they have been without water since June 1, because their wells and septic tanks are flooded. 

Stone said that his home has flooded before in 2015, claiming that the city said at that point that “it’s not their problem.” Stone claimed that the city paid a contractor to dredge out the lake and make it deeper so no problems would occur in the future. 

“Well, they didn’t put in a pump or anything,” Stone said. “They just stretched it out.”  

Kimberly Hamlin, another Randall County resident, also expressed frustration surrounding the city of Amarillo’s flood maps. Hamlin said because the city amended its flood map, and her parents’ home was lost, they are ultimately not covered by flood insurance. 

Specifically regarding the homes and businesses near the city limits in Randall County, Amarillo Mayor Cole Stanley said there could be some confusion for those residents because there are multiple agencies that are willing to help them. 

Stanley said that the city first directed those specific residents to the American Red Cross, an entity that offered housing and emergency shelter. Stanley also said that the city of Amarillo also offered some other resources. 

“The confusion that exists is they’re right there in between multi-agencies that are all trying to help them,” Stanley said after Thursday’s special meeting of the Amarillo City Council. “So, you can speak with Randall County, you can obviously call the judge’s office and see what they’re willing to do. You can call the city of Amarillo and then we also want the Red Cross involved.” 

“We did try to reach each and every individual over there at a business or at a residence by knocking on doors and leaving information,” Stanley continued. “We’ve also asked for Randall County to contact those individuals and then I’ve had several phone calls or emails where I’ve spoken with some of them. So, any and all forms of communication are welcome. We just want them to get to the resources that they have. It’s not a pointing the finger at one or the other. No one is telling these citizens that we can’t help (them). What we’re saying is, there are multiple ways that we can help you. Let us find out what the best this is for you and your family.” 

The city of Amarillo implemented its own disaster declaration on June 1, announcing it to on June 2, joining Potter County, Randall County and the city of Canyon. According to the declaration, which was ultimately extended 30 days during Thursday’s special meeting, it said that the city has experienced severe weather that created “widespread and severe property damage.’ 

Stanley said he does not believe there was a delay in the city implementing its declaration, stating that the pumping and the lake capacity helped trigger the criteria for the city to file its declaration.

“We had really good rains. It was an enormous blessing there for the first week. Then, when we got into week two, that’s when we started to hit our capacities and so we didn’t have an issue until we started hitting capacity at all of our Playa lakes,” Stanley said.

Stanley expects that the city will need a minimum of two weeks for the waters to recede and for officials to assess the immediate damage, which will help the city move forward. 

“We have (had) some unprecedented rainfall over the last three weeks. And so this is not normal for us. We’re exceeding some of those thresholds and capacities that we’re built for. So I think moving forward, what we want to do is we want to do a full evaluation of existing infrastructure,” Stanley said. “What are our options that we can implement to help alleviate future flooding, and increase capacity? And then along with this disaster declaration, what does TDEM allow for that helps us to put some of those resources into infrastructure for future issues that maybe we can mitigate?”

“In our region, we typically see three or four inches of flash flooding in one hour or in one day. What we’re not built for is three continuous weeks of total saturation and then continued heavy rainfall that comes over a duration of time, keeping us from being able to pump from one place to the next,” Stanley went on to say. “So isolated flooding, we’re built for. When you’re saturated, and you’re flooding all across the Panhandle really, or at least, you know, Potter, Randall County, that’s where our engineering hasn’t gained the capacity to handle those types of events. So, we struggle with those just because that’s not what we’re built for.” 

Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner told that ultimately, what the governmental entities are going through is a process, something that the entities are not used to because it does not happen very often. According to previous reports, the Potter County Commissioners Court also decided to extend its disaster declaration related to the flooding. 

Tanner said that the Amarillo Area Office of Emergency Management “has been awesome” in its response. Tanner believes that the resources that have been provided have been “sufficient and very necessary,” even if some residents may dispute that. 

“Like I said, it doesn’t happen so often,” Tanner said. “We all kind of dropped the ball because we didn’t know what to do and we didn’t know it was going to be this bad. But it’s that. So we have to do something now to make sure that that doesn’t happen again.” 

Tanner, as well as other governmental officials, encourage residents to contact the Amarillo OEM for more information, as well as attend the multi-agency resource center, which is open at 8 a.m. Friday at the Randall County Fire Station, located at 1111 E Loop 335 E in Amarillo. 

For the latest Amarillo news and regional updates, check with and tune in to KAMR Local 4 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m. and Fox 14 News at 9:00 p.m. CST.

This is a developing story. will update this article as new information becomes available.

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