Sarasota streets under water after days of rain - WFLA News Channel 8

Sarasota streets under water after days of rain

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SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Poor Alfonzo.

He's fighting to reclaim his backyard.

Alfonzo Maffei held up a water pump that was emptying a trickle of water into nearby brush.

Maffei said, "This has been pumping out like this for about three days."

But Maffei is in a losing battle. The water has swamped his backyard. The water there is about two feet deep.

 “If it would stop raining it would probably help out a little bit more,” he said. "It just comes with the territory over here. You just gotta roll with it."

Waves rolled across front lawns all over Sarasota as cars gingerly managed through the deluge.

A neighbor said at least 15 cars stalled out along this road, but some like Ricardo are just plain stuck. He doesn't have a car, and this morning he was trapped in his house.

Ricardo said in Spanish, “There is bacteria in the water that can lead to infection! So I have to wait before I can walk out here."

Many storm drains were worthless in the flooded roads. It’s led to a lot of work for utility crews.

Crews have been working day and night to get rid of the water.

Not only is it flooding streets and overwhelming storm drains, but it's leaking into the wastewater treatment plant. Over the past couple of days, five times more water has been flowing into the plant than usual.

City officials say it’s a problem affecting municipalities from Tampa to Bonita Springs.

City of Sarasota Utilities Director Mitt Tidwell said, "Last I heard was right at 30 million gallons a day….Normally we'd be 5 1/2 to 6."

Officials say after the rain stops it’ll take a couple more days before the water flowing into the wastewater treatment plant will return to normal.

There were even a few manhole covers that were overwhelmed. Rain water gushed out of them.

“As far as a health concern, I don’t think there would be a large concern there. It’s more of a traffic concern,” said Tidwell.

So Alfonzo is not alone in his plight. A lot of people are having problems with water. But at least he found a bright side- the flood could give him a chance to test out his boat.

 
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