NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — Price Boulevard is closed in both directions between Cranberry and Salford boulevards Monday afternoon as crews fix a hole near the bridge that passes over the McCaughey waterway.
The city said the damage was caused by excessive rainfall over the weekend, which left some streets and neighborhoods underwater. North Port Fire Rescue responded to at least three calls of stranded vehicles.
Longtime residents tell WFLA the flooding has worsened over the last several years.
“The first couple of years, it wasn’t too bad. Now that there is more building going on, more construction going on, it just seems like the flooding is becoming more frequent. It is definitely frustrating being here 13 years. It is becoming more frustrating because it is occurring more and more,” said resident Scott Martin.
North Port Public Works Director Chuck Speake says the city saw up to seven inches of rain in a short period of time this weekend, but the city’s drainage system functioned as designed.
“The drainage system worked as designed. These are things mother nature throws at us that we cannot control. I would say when it rains like this, don’t drive. That is part of living in Florida where we live. This is southwest Florida, we get a lot of rain,” said Speake.
He explained the city is continuously working to make improvements to the system as it grows.
“The city is constantly working both proactive and reactively to improve our drainage system. We have a grid project where we go into entire neighborhoods and we rehabilitate the entire drainage system from the pipes to the swales, to the ditches,” said Speake.
He explained residents and builders can do their part by keeping their drainage pipes clean and clear.
“It is the homeowners responsibility to keep their driveway pipe, clear and clean. If they need help with that, they can call the city. Also, if there is construction on your street, and you see that they have the swale blocked, please reach out to us so we can address that. One blockage stops it all,” he added.
Anyone with questions or concerns can contact the city through its “North Report” system at NorthPortFL.gov/NorthReport.