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Storm takes toll on Longboat roadways

MELISSA REID
Associate Publisher
mreid@lbknews.com

This week, Longboat Key accrued an unprecedented 14 inches of rain during a three-day rainstorm.

Residents driving on Gulf of Mexico Drive noticed that the runoff watercourses on either side of the roadway formed one large congruous pond from one side of the road to the other. Many condominium parking lots, such as those at the Islander Club, White Sands Resort and Windward Bay, became ponds as well. All who drove on Longboat were forced to drive slowly in order to safely get to their homes.

Public Works Director Juan Florensa explained that the excessive amount of rain in such a short period of time caused a backup of water in certain areas along the storm water drainage system.

“There were no clogs anywhere along the storm water system. What happened is that it (the rain) overwhelmed the storm water system, and because of that, it couldn’t take on more water. Think of it like a sponge that has already absorbed as much water as it possibly can,” said Florensa.

In an effort to deal with the ponding water on Gulf of Mexico Drive, the Longboat Key Public Works Department and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) worked together to put a pump in place to drain off all the standing water on the roadway. According to the Public Works Department, a 1,000-foot section of Gulf of Mexico Drive was under several inches of water. The pump successfully drained off all the standing water, and has now been removed.

Florensa said there was no damage to any of the infrastructure on Longboat Key, and that no residents were harmed during the storm.

“The water has now receded. A few cars stalled out during the flooding, and in certain areas you had to go slow, but fortunately no one was hurt and we came out unscathed,” said Florensa.

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