The Ruth Street/Dunlawton area of Port Orange has flooded AGAIN! (And from what I’m hearing from people around town so have many other areas.) I hope everyone else escaped serious property damage, but our neighborhood was not so lucky. Houses flooded, cars were submerged and Dunlawton was once again closed to traffic.
This occurred despite the recently completed $3-million Dunlawton Drainage Project that was supposed to alleviate or eliminate such problems. What happened? Early word has it that the pumps at the retention ponds couldn’t be turned on because of full pipes at the sewer plant or that “human error” resulted in trying to empty the ponds at high tide when the water had nowhere to go. Whatever the explanations from City Hall over the next few days happen to be, we’ve heard them all before. They go something like this: “Don’t blame us, we couldn’t help it, mistakes happen, it’s not our fault………….we need more money.”
I’m reminded of the surgeon who announces to the family that “the operation was a success but the patient died.” In this case the surgeons are that same old group of tired engineers at Quentin Hampton and in Public Utilities that gave us the Reclaim Lakes mess, and the dead patient is the Port Orange taxpayer. As an aside, the police and television news crews were in our neighborhood at dawn this morning, followed shortly by Bob Ford, Scott Stiltner and Ted Noftall–Public Works was conspicuous by its absence.
Surely there is a solution to this mess but just as surely it will not come from the group of usual suspects who after 20 years of planning, digging, piping and pumping have had no effect at all. Clearly they are not up to the task. The days when a project was considered a success because everyone made a paycheck need to go.