A video recently shared online shows a man climbing out of a storm drain in North Dallas’ Jan Mar neighborhood.
A few weeks ago, a Jan Mar homeowner was awakened around 3:30 a.m. by her Ring doorbell, alerting her to movement outside her front door. She looked outside and saw a man crawling out of a storm drain on Forest Lane near North Central Expressway.
The man, presumably a vagrant, had already thrown his belongings onto the street before the resident started recording, but the video did capture him wriggling out of the drain, packing his items, then walking down the street.
When the resident notified the City of Dallas of the incident, city staff said they could not put a gate on the storm drain.
The homeowner’s neighbor reported the event to the Hillcrest Forest Neighborhood Association (HFNA) and her city council representative, District 11’s Jaynie Schultz. While action has yet to be taken, Schultz did tell the resident she would notify the Office of Homeless Solutions (OHS).
“When we were made aware of this video, we immediately contacted the Office of Homeless Solutions,” Schultz told CandysDirt.com. “Additionally, HFNA has reached out to their security team as well.”
Schultz “offered to host a neighborhood meeting in addition to the Neighborhood Summit.” At that meeting, concerned residents “discussed the challenge of homelessness and all the steps” they were taking.
“It is critical that people make the OHS and their outreach team aware of all cases of homelessness,” Shultz concluded.
The Dallas Express reached out to the OHS for comment and any update regarding the issue but received no additional information by the time of publication.
Other cities have faced similar circumstances. Las Vegas, for example, reportedly has had vagrants populating their storm drains. As many as 1,500 people could be living in the tunnels under the city at any given time.
Living in the tunnels can become deadly when the city is hit with heavy storms. In August, two people were found dead in a Las Vegas flood channel after a period of heavy rains.
California officials responded in September by sealing shut several drain covers to discourage vagrants from camping within the city’s drainage tunnels.