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Port St. Lucie drainage systems at capacity after week of heavy rainfall

Port St. Lucie drainage systems at capacity after week of heavy rainfall
Posted at 5:21 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 18:42:30-04

The city of Port St. Lucie is bracing for more rain after more than 11 inches has fallen in eight days.

“It’s never been this bad," said Robert Steiner, whose backyard is more reminiscent of a small pond at the moment.

In a memo to the mayor and city council members, the deputy public works director wrote: 'The city's drainage systems are operating at capacity."

That memo also said the water levels at the Blackwell and Tiffany Pump stations increased three feet in four hours early Tuesday morning.

Public works employees spent Tuesday fixing potholes and clearing debris from canals to prevent them from clogging up culverts, which caused flooding on Tiger Avenue Tuesday morning. Localized flooding also happened on Blackwell Drive, Melaleuca Boulevard and Lennard Road, but no roads required closures.

“Even with all this rain, you take away the blockage and, boom, you almost have instant relief," said Mayor Gregory Oravec.

Overall, Mayor Oravec said the streets have fared pretty well with the amount of rain that's come in over the last week compared to after Tropical Storm Fay in 2008, which caused major flooding and extended road closures.

Millions of dollars have gone into improving drainage since then through the Eastern Watershed Improvement Project.

“Certainly no businesses or homes are being threatened in Port St. Lucie and that’s a win," Mayor Oravec said.