St. Augustine to tackle flooding on bayfront | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

St. Augustine to tackle flooding on bayfront

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — In downtown St. Augustine, the streets often flood when it rains.ID=76442360

But more and more this year, people are noticing the roads are flooding when it is not raining.

Diane Boyd works at Mary's Harbor View Café on Avenida Menendez just across from the water in downtown St. Augustine.

It's a popular street in St. Augustine between the fort and the Bridge of Lions. She said it's been flooding more frequently this year along the street.

Water builds up in the parking spaces along both sides of the road. The fort parking lot also flooded this week.

"It was up to the steps this morning at 8:00" Boyd said while point to the steps at the front door of the café. "I looked out at 10, it was all dry."

The flooding happens – even when it's not raining – but under the right conditions.

"When there is a full moon, a high tide and a northeast wind," Boyd noted. "Those three things, and you can be sure there will be water on Avenida Menenez."

That is not great for businesses on the street.

Boyd said customers "don't want to be tromping through water to get to the business."

St. Augustine City Manager John Regan said, "I've been watching high tides for 18 years now. It does feel the tides are more frequent and a little more higher than they used to be."

He said, because the state owns the pipes that empty into the bayfront along the seawall, the city aims to work with the state on a solution. The proposed plan is to "put one-way valves that when the bay is higher than the road, the valves close and prevent the backflow through the storm drainage system."

The idea is to keep the water from coming up from the drainage area.

It may create some relief for folks like Boyd.

"Oh relief would be great," Boyd said smiling. "Relief would be wonderful!"

She said it would make getting to work easier for her and it would open the walkway for customers to sit inside.

Regan said he'd like to see work completed in a year. As for the fort's flooding, the federal government owns that land and it would need to determine an action plan.


St. Augustine Deals

St. Augustine Businesses