Statistical Overview of Temple, Texas
According to the United States Bureau of Census 2020 statistics, Temple, Texas constitutes a population of approximately 82,073 (U.S. Bureau of Census, 2021). Of the 1,741 cities in Texas, Temple is the 49 most populous city in the state. The population breakdown presenting the diversity in racial/ethnic groups comprise of 75.1 percent Whites followed by 26.4 percent Hispanics and third 15.7 percent Blacks or African American. A high percentage of American Indians, Asians, and people of two or more races consist of 0.3, 2.0, and 4.6 percent respectively. In terms of economic growth, Temple city has a robust economy with a median household income of $54,873 representing a 5.07 percent 1-year growth from 2019 (Data USA, 2020). The poverty rate as of 2020 stood at 16.1 percent – a 5.57 percent 1-year decrease from 2019 (Data USA, 2021). Education in Temple, Texas has highly been emphasized with 90.0 percent of persons aged 25 years and above having attained high school graduation (U.S. Bureau of Census, 2021). Also, 28.9 percent of the same age category in the city have attained a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Furthermore, the city has a median age of 34.2 years – 35.1 for females and 33.2 for males (U.S. Bureau of Census, 2021).
Key Challenges that the Community Faces
Flooding poses a profound threat and challenge to the residents of Temple, Texas causing subsequent stress and disruption of their livelihoods whenever there are heavy rains. The occurrence of heavy rains causes the water pressure and quantity to rise in lakes Belton and Temple Lake further increasing the risk level on the city. This is amplified by the old state of some of Temple city that lacks proper drainage systems and mapping of the city. As a result, residential areas, commercial, roads, social, among other infrastructure are at risk of destruction by the floods. Research shows that 810/23,393homes and 139/1,785 businesses among other properties are at risk of flooding (Ellenberger, 2020). Closure of parks and disruption of day-to-day livelihood is a profound challenge to the people of Temple city resulting from floods on annual basis. Therefore, this calls for effective measures to change a menace that has been experienced every year.
Causes and Contributing Factors
Three main factors can be attributed to being the cause of flooding in Temple city. These include the rising levels of water in lake Belton and Temple Lake. The increase in water levels and volume especially during heavy rains season leaves Temple city at risk of experiencing substantial floods that disrupt their livelihoods. The floods resulted in the closure of roads, parks, and other facilities that people frequent in the city. Also, the old developments in the city done before the emphasis on the establishment of precautionary and safety measures when conducting any construction in the city left it prone to a massive flood. This is a result of a lack of drainage systems to allow water flow during heavy rains. Lack of adequate planning and the government’s responsibility to redevelop the area exposes it to continuous flooding problems.
Local Assets and Key Stakeholders Used to Overcome the Challenges
Local assets such as Temple Police Department, Temple Fire Station #7 and #8; Central Fire Station, and Rescue Station #2 serve as the front-line responders during flooding and other emergencies. Others including the Texas Department of Public Safety, Bell County Sheriff Department, FBI (Waco), V.A. Hospital, and other health departments are critical assets in dealing with emergencies at Temple city (Twigg & Mosel, 2017). Religious organizations and communities in Temple are critical assets to responding to emergency cases in the city. Such include Christ Episcopal Church, Taylor’s Valley Baptist, First Baptist Church, Unity Church of Temple, Immanuel Baptist, Canyon Creek Baptist, among others. Thus, the convergence of all the key local assets plays an integral role in dealing with emergency services in the city.
Gaps in Resources that Prevent Individuals in the Community from Getting the Help Needed
The most outstanding gap in resources handling that prevents residents of Temple city from getting the necessary help during emergencies constitutes of lack of coordination and cooperation of the local assets. During emergencies, it is of paramount importance for all assets and resources to operate from a central command station. This is critical to avoid miscommunication and confusion during the operations. Proper coordination and cooperation of local assets undermine efficiency in administering safety measures (Bahadori, Khankeh, Zaboli & Malmir, 2015). For instance, during flooding emergencies, residents lack the proper mechanism to access the necessary assistance required. As a result, most people rely on the churches and themselves to remain safe.
Scope and Problem Definition
Temple city has suffered years of neglect lack of proper planning and lack of drainage systems. This exposes the city to a year-in-year-out risk of flooding. With such history, it is fundamental for the state government in collaboration with the federal government to establish measures that can eradicate the cause problem of flooding in the city (Abbasi, Sadeghi-Njaraki, Jalili & Choi, 2018). That is, the construction of massive sewerage and drainage systems is integral to the safety of Temple city in the future.
Strengths and Challenges
The involvement of U.S. Army Corp Engineers is a crucial step to dealing with the flooding problem in Temple and Killeen cities among others in Texas. This enhances the capacity of local assets to deal with a high magnitude problem in the city without escalating into a menace. Also, the involvement of residents and churches forms a crucial part of dealing with the flooding problem in Temple city. It allows the city responders to maximize every asset to enhance the safety of all residents (Ellenberger, 2020). The city’s local government’s commitment to building a major sewerage and drainage system is a strategic approach to dealing with the flooding menace in the city. However, the execution and completion of the project have highly undermined the challenge of acquiring the necessary funds required (Samuel & Siebeneck, 2019). Therefore, the core challenge lies in raising the necessary funds to implement a complex project that covers sewerage and drainage systems, as well as, a reservoir to relieve the stress on Temple Lake and Lake Belton.
Step-by-step Action Plan
To achieve the completion of a multi-dimension level project comprising of a sewerage and drainage system covering Temple city and reservoir to relieve the stress caused on Temple Lake and Lake Belton, all levels of government must work together. From the federal government, state government, and local government. This is critical to include the necessary agencies and stakeholders playing an integral role in resolving the problem. To effectively coordinate all plans in Temple city, a steering committee should be appointed to include representatives from the different levels of government under one command (Abubakari & Twum, 2019). This will pave the way to include other stakeholders such as the business community, non-profit organizations, churches, and local communities representatives. The constitution of a diverse team working towards the safety of Temple city in the future is core to the completion of the project. The team will be tasked with sourcing the funds required to execute the project.
Abbasi, A., Sadeghi-Niaraki, A., Jalili, M., & Choi, S. M. (2018). Enhancing response coordination through the assessment of response network structural dynamics. PloS one, 13(2), e0191130.
Abubakari, M., & Twum, K. O. (2019). Cities and floods: A pragmatic insight into the determinants of households’ coping strategies to floods in informal Accra, Ghana. Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies, 11(1), 1-14.
Bahadori, M., Khankeh, H. R., Zaboli, R., & Malmir, I. (2015). Coordination in disaster: A narrative review. International Journal of Medical Reviews, 2(2), 273-281.
Data USA. (2021). Temple, TX Census Place. Retrieved from https://datausa.io/profile/geo/temple-tx
Ellenberger, P. (22 Sep 2020). Temple Residents Fed Up with Flooding. 25abc. Retrieved from https://www.kxxv.com/hometown/bell-county/temple-residents-fed-up-with-flooding
Samuel, C., & Siebeneck, L. K. (2019). Roles revealed: An examination of the adopted roles of emergency managers in hazard mitigation planning and strategy implementation. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 39, 101145.
Twigg, J., & Mosel, I. (2017). Emergent groups and spontaneous volunteers in urban disaster response. Environment and Urbanization, 29(2), 443-458.
United States Census Bureau. (2021). Quick Facts: Temple City, Texas. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/templecitytexas