Drainage issues cause flooding in Marco Island neighborhood

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Credit: Linda Flores

Heavy rain is flooding streets on Marco Island, and the standing water is so bad that vehicles are having to be towed out of it.

It isn’t the first time this has happened and residents are getting frustrated.

Neighbors said knee-deep water covered Barfield Drive for hours, pulled a mailbox out of the ground and made it difficult for people to get home.

“I looked outside and all of a sudden it was just coming down in sheets,” said Paul Graebner.

“It was only 15 to 20 minutes of very heavy rain,” said Steven Pallond.

That short amount of rain was all it took to flood the road, leading Pallond’s wife to get stuck and have her car towed.

“Hopefully they’ll take care of it. If not… we might need a new engine,” Pallond said.

Other neighbors just had minor damage.

“I think everyone’s pretty aware of the flooding that can happen,” said Linda Flores, who had some debris left in her yard from the water.

Flores said she hasn’t seen water this high on her street since Hurricane Irma in 2017. She sent her husband to check it out.

“He’s about 5’10” and it was up to his knees there at the corner, so it was substantial water,” Flores said.

Police warned drivers to be patient and wait until the water receded, which took five to six hours, according to Graebner.

While the streets eventually dried out, neighbors wonder what the next good rain will bring.

“There was a high tide so it’s hard to get a good drain off, and it came down pretty quickly but there are heightened manholes and I think they really need to look at the drainage a little harder,” Flores said.

The city manager is aware of the problem and said the city will spent at least $600,000 this year on stormwater improvements.

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