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Mother, son work to clear storm drains after flooding complaints go unanswered

Mother and son clears streets in prevent flooding in Springfield neighborhood
Mother and son clears streets in prevent flooding in Springfield neighborhood

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s not an area known for its flooding, but residents near 10th and Liberty streets in the Springfield area said they have seen flooding problems for years — and nobody is listening to them.

On Sunday, News4Jax was in the area and witnessed cars stranded in the floodwaters. A man who lives nearby said he has reported flooding issues several times in the past 20 years.

News4Jax did see city crews out in the area Monday clearing storm drains so the water would flow ahead of the expected impacts of Tropical Storm Elsa.

On Monday, most of the water had receded from Sunday’s rain, but with any new storm, it’s likely going to rise again.

Also during Sunday’s storm, the parking lot at Calloway Cove apartments in Northwest Jacksonville flooded, photos sent to News4Jax show. On Monday, it was clear, but flooding from the Ribault River could be an issue again this week.

The city told News4Jax it is doing what it can to prevent flooding issues in the city, but some people are taking matters into their own hands.

News4Jax met one woman who was seen Monday carrying a shovel down the street. When asked where she was going, she said she has to clean up the street near her house because no one else will.

Joey and her son Nathan, who did not want us to use their last names, took on the task of flood-fighting Monday by clearing away the muck, mud and weeds that are blocking storm drains and keeping the water from flowing in their Springfield neighborhood.

“It’s ridiculous,” Joey said. “Because the flooding is so bad, if we have any kind of flash flood, a major hurricane, anything, you can’t leave out of here.”

Joey said they’ve reported the problems many times and she said it is getting worse.

“Of and on for the past five years,” she said. “My mother has, my grandfather has, we all live in this area. I literally canoed down this road one time because it was so deep and the storm drains were covered and you could not get in.”

To see city crews in the area clearing trash and debris from the drains on Monday was an unusual sight, residents said.

Ben McNair, who has lived in the area for 21 years, said it’s a start but not a fix.

“It’s the same old thing. Nothing changed,” McNair said. “I want them to fix what they’ve got to do.”

As for Joey and her son, they will keep at it.

“It’s getting to a point that I’m tired of arguing with them,” she said. “I’m just going to keep trucking at it until something happens.”

Complaints go unanswered after years of flooding problems
Complaints go unanswered after years of flooding problems

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.