Orange Park hopes to protect town from major flood event

Orange Park is working to fix flood prone areas

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – The town of Orange Park is making a game plan of how to stop the town from flooding if another major storm were to hit.

It just wrapped up an in depth study of the areas around Orange Park that are prone to flooding and need work. The town is looking to spend money or find grants to make sure there is enough room for the rain and flooding brought on by large storms.

If you talk to people who live around Orange Park Junior High School, they’ll tell you that they’ve seen their share of flooding.

Bruce Darling has lived in the neighborhood with his wife for more than 30 years.

“Five, six years ago they were going up our street with the canoe,” Darling said.

The study looked at water being pumped through the town’s drainage system: In one case, it was time equal to a major rain event. The other time was equivalent to what a major hurricane would bring.

“It’s been really two years in the making ever since Hurricane Irma,” said Sarah Campbell, Orange Park town manager. “We had over 20 homes in the town flooded and a number of neighborhoods inaccessible because there was water over the roadway.”

A look at a flood map shows some of the most flooding-prone areas include an area near Orange Park Junior High and a large section around Plainfield Road.

The town has made some progress. In 2019, the town dredged thousands of pounds of dirt with federal grant money. A map shows drainage in that area has improved.

Council will spend weeks reviewing its budget to see how much of the drainage issue it can afford to fix. A public meeting is scheduled for June 23 at 7 p.m.

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