Human error blamed for Port Orange flooding in September

Dunlawtonflood
Dunlawton Ave Flooding

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Port Orange, Fla .. A city investigation found employee¬†error in the operation of the city’s pump system contributed to the flooding, which damaged more than 60 homes.
Channel 9’s Blaine Tolison spoke to homeowners Tuesday who said there’s a much bigger problem.
Margie Spry was one of more than 60 Port Orange residents who woke up to flooding that day in September. She is still faced with thousands of dollars in damage and losses no amount of money can replace.
“I still need to get furniture,” she said. “(I) had to throw a lot of things away, a lot of memories away.”
On Tuesday, the city released investigative findings that show two Public Works employees failed to prepare the city for flooding. The report states a chief plant operator and a foreman did not pump down area retention ponds or open a tide gate in the area of Dunlawton Avenue and Spruce Creek Road.
But community activists like Ted Noftall, said the problem lies with the city’s upper management and the design of the stormwater system.
“What the city has done here is the equivalent of charging a deckhand on the Titanic with placing the lawn chairs in the wrong position,” said Noftall.
Noftall points out plans from St. Johns River Water Management call for a berm along Spruce Creek Road north of Dunlawton that was never built. Residents said they watched as water flowed over the banks of the canal and onto the road, shutting it down.
“Had it been in place, it would have raised this edge of the bank enough to keep water from overflowing,” said resident Mike Gardner.
During a workshop on flooding a few weeks ago, city officials admitted the berm was not built, but they have not said if that was the cause of the flooding.
Channel 9 have reached out to the city to ask what specific plans it has to improve its stormwater system and whether the city will have to pay for damaged homes.
Officials have not yet gotten back to us.
via Human error blamed for Port Orange flooding in September | www.wftv.com.

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