Lee County focuses on reducing flooding for the 2019 hurricane season

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Swale in Lee County. (Credit: WINK News)
Swale in Lee County. (Credit: WINK News)

Since Hurricane Irma, neighbors have noticed county crews working to reduce flooding in the future. Specifically, cleaning out your swales, which are marshy sunken places, and in some areas digging them deeper.

Island Park is where some of the floodings were the worst. Nearly two years ago, some neighbors said they were waist deep in water, bringing to light drainage issues.

That prompted Lee County to launch a three-phase project. With phase one and two completed, crews have cleared swales and drainage systems from debris and impediments.

One woman said even though her neighborhood along McGregor did not see flooding issues, improvements are evident.

“People south of us really took the brunt of that storm,” Linda Bigelow said. “The city of Fort Myers came down McGregor and replaced all the sewer lines and the reason… because they didn’t do it right the first time they did it wrong.”

In October, the county launched the final phase of its three-part flood mitigation efforts. That includes hiring AIM Engineering and Surveying Inc. to study and develop long term solutions.

The result of that $1.7 million study is due back in the fall.

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