Still no fix in sight as construction floods out South Tampa street again

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The frustrations keep flooding out of one South Tampa neighborhood as floodwaters keep pouring in.

For the second time in less than a month, S. Juanita Street in Port Tampa has been severely flooded out. Neighbors say they were trapped, unable to get cars out of their driveways as the water flowed up and into their garages.

“This is really inconvenient for everything that we have to do,” said Christian Kelbaugh, who lives on S. Juanita and finally invested in some rubber boots to get around. “Even during the hurricane, it didn’t get this bad.”

When it first happened in July, the City of Tampa said the flooding was likely connected to a new housing development under construction nearby. They could identify what the problem was, but both the city and developer assured neighbors they were on top of the situation.

But as neighbors predicted during the first round of flooding, you can’t come up with a solution before you pinpoint the problem.

Developer Lennar Homes issued this statement to 8 On Your Side Thursday:

“We are continuing to work with our engineers and with the City of Tampa on a solution, and take this issue very seriously. In the meantime, we’re working to help the neighbors, whether it’s pumping out water, finding ways to get neighbors transportation, or by having our water remediation partners visit each neighbor and make their services available if needed.”

Neither Kelbaugh nor Bob Weist who lives a few doors down, find that reassuring.

Weist came home Thursday from a four-day trip to once again find the street underwater and everything outside his home ruined including the second generator he’s gone through in a month because of the flooding.

He says the flooding has also ruined his trust in the city to help them during their time of need.

“They don’t care about this, and you can tell because it keeps on happening,” Weist said.

The City of Tampa did not return 8 On Your Side’s request for comment Thursday. However, late in the afternoon city workers did bring sandbags for the affected neighbors to protect their garages.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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