It’s not a hurricane, but dang, it sure did rain this weekend!

The Trinity River is over its banks, and the White Rock Spillway is gushing. Our lives, homes and infrastructure are safe because of levees built in the 1940s. But before that, Dallas suffered terrible floods, including the great Trinity flood of 1908.

Of course the river still floods, and the city and private donors are trying to figure out what do to with the vast parkland around the Trinity. You can have a say in what such a park should be by following this link to a survey or attending one of these meetings.

Now, the 1908 flood:

Heavy rains hit the entire midwest that spring, and Kansas and Oklahoma flooded in April, around the time the above photo was taken of a swollen Trinity River and Downtown Dallas.

On May 25, 1908, Dallas had 15 inches of rain.

The Advocate wrote in 2015:

The flood killed five people and left 5,000 people homeless (out of a total population around 90,000). The total cost of the destruction reached about $2.5 million (which would be almost $65 million in today’s dollars).

Flashback Dallas found the below photo of the old Texas and Pacific Trestle from Downtown to Oak Cliff.


Most of the city was without power and water. Sewers were overflowing. Fires broke out. Trains couldn’t run. West Dallas, Downtown and the McKinney Avenue area were under water for days. But in West Dallas, the destruction and devastation to one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods was overwhelming.

Below are more photos from the 1908 flood. Don’t forget to read our story about plans for a park between the Trinity levees in West Dallas and then get involved with the project — it’s easy!

Bonus pic of Downtown Waco, May 1908