Torrential rains flood Jacksonville Beach streets

Residents say they've come to expect storms leaving flooding in wake

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Storms Tuesday morning brought torrential rain to the Northeast Florida area, flooding streets in Jacksonville Beach neighborhoods.

A section of First Avenue South was nothing but water for hours. A few blocks south, sidewalks and driveways in the area of 12th Avenue South were also flooded, something residents said they've come to expect.

"I walked out about 6:45 this morning. It was flooded. It was up to my knees already," said resident Gary Godreau. "I'm used to this because it floods so bad out here. And we've got one of the worst, lower areas over here."

It took a lot of time and help from the city's Public Works Department for the rainwater to recede. 

"They have the drain that runs out on the beach. What they did was dug all those tunnels out where all that drainage comes out, so it's running toward the beach," Godreau said. 

Neighbors said they've learned to take shortcuts through back alleys to avoid driving through flooded roads, which is not advised.

Though dealing with the flooding has become a fact of life for many Jacksonville Beach residents, it hasn't made the situation any less frustrating. They hope it'll get better. 

"We just need to figure out how do we drain it better, you know?" Goodreau said. 

Farther inland, residents in Jacksonville's San Marco neighborhood -- another low-lying spot prone to flooding -- woke up Tuesday morning to a similar situation.

According to the National Weather Service, 1.76 inches of rain was recorded since midnight at Jacksonville International Airport, breaking the daily rainfall record for Dec. 6 in Jacksonville.

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