JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In the South Riverside neighborhood near San Marco, flooding is a problem when the drains are clogged.
In recent years, the city has tried to keep the drains open. But the area has been used as a dumping ground, and the flooding could get worse depending on how much rain Tropical Storm Elsa brings to the area.
Along Sheridan Lane between St. Augustine Road and Drew Street, storm drains could be seen cluttered with trash and yard waste on Monday. And with afternoon thunderstorms almost a daily occurrence in the summertime, the clogged drains are becoming a problem for neighbors.
“Every time we get any kind of heavy rain, we get a backflow through the whole ditch system,” said neighbor Sam Thompson. “It gets on the roads, and it becomes a hazard to us, the homes, and it starts flooding property and eroding the side of the roadway.”
Elsa is expected to dump rain, and that could cause flooding in some areas. Those concerns are even more heightened because South Riverside is already saturated from stormwater that can’t run off fast enough because drains are clogged.
“It’s going to destroy the foundation eventually and everything is going to get really saturated,” neighbor Anthony Perez said. “It’s not good for homeownership at all.”
THE LATEST: Tropical Storm Elsa | WHAT TO EXPECT: Forecasting Elsa’s impact on Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia | TRACKING THE TROPICS: Interactive map
For several years now, trash blocking the flow of stormwater down the drains has been an ongoing problem. It’s trash that, according to city officials, is repeatedly being illegally dumped.
News4Jax reported in 2017, 2018 and 2019 when city crews responded to South Riverside to clear the drains of trash.
PREVIOUS STORIES: City removes trash, tires clogging storm drains near San Marco | Sanitation workers clean out storm drains near San Marco
Illegally dumped trash into storm drains has been an ongoing problem in other parts of the city as well. According to officials, it’s hard to arrest and charge someone unless they were caught in the act by law enforcement or recorded on video.