Funding denied again for Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – For the second year in a row, funding has been denied for The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. The money, according to school leaders, would have helped with flood mitigation near the school’s St. Augustine campus.

The school was forced to close for about a week after Hurricane Matthew and ahead of Irma. The campus had flooded buildings and downed trees. Students that lived on campus were evacuated.

$1.7 million was requested but denied.

How funding would help with flood prevention:

School leaders say they wanted to use the money to repair damages, prevent any more damages from tidal surge, flooding and sewer overflows at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Storm water and sewer collection systems were overcapacity. As a result, pumping systems couldn’t keep up.

How the city is easing flooding:

“We are always doing ongoing work. Any type of funding from the state would have accelerated our capital improvement plan,” said City Manager John Regan.

Regan says every year the city does some type of slip-lining work to try to ease the flooding. It’s a less disruptive process, according to Regan because it doesn’t require excavating the whole street.

“Slip-lining is a way you take a material inside the pipe and you blow it up like a balloon and it becomes a new fiberglass type of pipe and effectively replaces the sewer system without digging,” explained Regan.

Next year the city will make another request in Tallahassee for funding.