SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The City of North Port was hard hit by flooding in the days following Tropical Storm Elsa last month. With Tropical Depression Fred moving closer to our area, the city is making preparations for possible impacts from the storm.
Public works crews have started opening up the city’s waterway structures to help lower water levels ahead of the storm.
“As we saw with Elsa, we had a lot of water that came in and we had already had some rainwater. Essentially, if we’ve got water in the area, the new water has nowhere to go so that is when the flooding starts,” said Public Works Community Outreach Coordinator Billy Carlson. “That is when you start to see it back up into the streets and stuff, so for us, it is crucial to get water out of the way so the new water has somewhere to go.”
The city is constantly monitoring water levels, especially during the rainy season, but efforts were ramped up this week when the threat of Fred first became a possibility.
“We are doing our best to move the water as quickly as we can at this point,” Carlson said.
The roads in the hard-hit North Port Estates community were dry when 8 On Your Side drove through the area Friday. Residents News Channel 8’s Allyson Henning spoke with hope it stays that way.
Tim Munson had a few inches of water intrusion following Tropical Storm Elsa. He is hoping for the best this time around.
“I am hoping it goes out in the Gulf further. Really, really hoping for that,” said the North Port resident.
The city opened up a self-serve sandbag site behind the George Mullen Activity Center. That site will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 14.