Where else but Port Orange could you design and permit a job, get 2.9 million dollars to build it, and not build it according to specs!?
October 16, 2014
Dear Manager Harden,
Your memo on the operation of the Dunlawton Drainage System before, during and after the flooding of September 23-24 points out a number of failures to follow established operating protocols at the time. While these failures are serious and deserving of correction they may be, however, irrelevant to the question of whether the System will again fail in the next severe rain event. Sometime after the original design the City’s project manager, with the approval of Quentin L Hampton Associates, removed approximately 1400 ft of berm from the project. The berm was to have run primarily along the east side of the Halifax Canal from Dunlawton Avenue to the 90 degree bend in the canal and then veer slightly north across City land to Herbert Street. Removal of that berm from the plans, not failure to follow operating protocol, was the proximate cause of the flooding and closure of Dunlawton and of property damage in the Ruth St/Powers Av neighborhood.
During the September rain event water rose in the canal until it overflowed the banks exactly where a berm was to be constructed. The water then sheeted along Powers Av, ended up at the low point on Dunlawton and was immediately carried via storm drains into the retention ponds. Water was essentially being routed directly from the canal to the retention ponds and I’m pretty sure that is not water the System was designed to handle. Failure to pump down the ponds before the event, improper operation of the leaf gate, and two pumps rendered useless once the event started all contributed somewhat to the severity of flooding, but once water came over the banks of the Halifax Canal the results were inevitable.
It seems in talking with the two engineers from FDOT who were on sight yesterday that the only justification for removing the berm from the project has come from the City’s project manager and from Quentin Hampton. You promised us an investigation of the Dunlawton Drainage Project but now you appear to be letting the investigators investigate themselves. It’s time for an unbiased and impartial look at this whole project and if that can not be accomplished in house we need to involve outside agencies such as the Florida Board of Professional Engineers or the Attorney General. After all, most of the money spent on this project came from State sources and all the citizens of Florida deserve to know how their money was spent.
618 Ruth St
Port Orange, FL 32127