High Water Mark sign (Photo: WFO Amarillo)
(Oct. 12, 2011) -- The National Weather Service forecast office in Amarillo and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department placed an official High Water Mark sign in the Palo Duro Canyon State Park. The sign marks the crest of a historic flood that occurred there on May 27, 1978.
On May 26, severe thunderstorms produced rainfall amounts in excess of 10 inches just west of Canyon, Texas. This heavy rain ran off into the Palo Duro and Tierra Blanca Creeks producing extensive flash flooding in the city of Canyon and continued downstream into the state park.
The sign was placed near Low Water Crossing #1 to show park visitors how high flood waters rose that night. At this site, the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River rose to 24 feet. The flood killed four people and caused approximately $20 million in property damage.
"We wanted a location that would be part of the community for decades along a well-traveled path," said Lance Goehring, hydrologic program manager for the Amarillo forecast office. "The Palo Duro Canyon State Park has thousands of visitors throughout the year, and this sign will serve as a valuable educational tool."
While the signs are designed to commemorate the historical flooding event, they are also intended to raise flood safety awareness.
Amarillo Meteorologist-In-Charge José Garcia noted, "These signs serve as vivid reminders to maintain our vigilance when it comes to flood safety and preparedness."
(L to R) Amarillo MIC Jose Garcia, Nathan Londonberg and Cory Evans of the Texas Dept. of Parks and Wildlife (Photo: WFO Amarillo)