Every time it rains, Robert Mayhue says he puts out 18 sandbags along his house on St. Andrews Circle in Fort Myers to keep the water out.
“When it comes down, you’ll see that the water basically works its way up,” he said.
And after a few hours of heavy, steady rain, Mayhue says his entire street looks like a lake. And he blames the county for not clearing out the storm drains, leading to the deluge.
“They came out last year and looked at the drain. They didn’t put a snake down it and said it’s just fine. I just have to laugh,” Mayhue said.
And only one street over, in an area the city of Fort Myers owns, it doesn’t flood at all.
“At the end of the street here, that’s in the city. They take more care of it,” Mayhue said.
Lee County says storm drains, ditches and swales are meant to hold water after heavy rain in order to keep it away from homes. They say that’s what is happening in Mayhue’s case, but it still doesn’t appear to be enough.
“I told them that the drain again—the ditch—it’s not deep enough and it’s filled up again and it has a lot of brush and debris in it,” Mayhue said.
Neighbor Sally Phillips also says it isn’t working.
“We had to go buy a sub pump to start pumping it out. Everything in my garage got wet. It took weeks, actually months,” she said.
County officials say they are aware of the concerns and have reached out to neighbors like Phillips, as many continue to wait for answers and monitor the radar.