Floodwater drains outside Iona apartments thanks to county workers

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Dublin Circle was free of flooding Thursday, July 8, 2021 to the joy of people who live at the Iona apartments off the residential roadway. Tropical Storm/Hurricane Elsa brought enough rain to cause outdoor flooding that kept many residents from leaving their homes the day prior. Credit: WINK News.

Flooding left an entire apartment complex in Iona stranded, surrounded by flooding with cars submerged in water after Elsa dumped rain across Southwest Florida this week.

The water receded from the Sanibel Way and Casa Bella communities Thursday, but it’s an issue people living there could face again during another storm.

A project manager from Lee County Department of Transportation told the condo association the first thing is the rest of the water needs to seep into the ground. Then, a crew will clean out the ditches and assess the piping and drainage. People who live there hope that’s just the start.

Floodwaters kept some people inside Sanibel Way and Casa Bella apartments. Only those willing to risk water damage to their vehicle engines got in and out.

Dublin Circle was clear when we visited Thursday, but the nuisance is not forgotten.

“I couldn’t go to work,” Brooke Fischer said. “I had to text my boss and sent him pictures because I don’t think he would’ve believed me if I said I can’t go to work, you know, I’m kind of flooded in.”

Water drained quickly much to the surprise of Diane House, the president of the Casa Bella condo association. When she went to bed Wednesday night, the water was still too high to leave her home safely.

“Thank you to WINK News,” House said. “You guys are wonderful for coming out here and coming out again because the project manager for the DOT said he saw it on TV.”

A Lee County spokesperson said DOT found and removed something blocking a drainage pipe downstream of Dublin Circle.

“He checked the big pipe down here that makes a 90-degree turn to make sure it was cleaned, and he said it’s flowing the way it’s supposed to be,” House said.

A clear road spells relief for the more than 100 families who rely on the road to get in and out of their homes.

“I woke up this morning; I wasn’t really expecting to see the water completely gone,” Fischer said. “Which I’m thankful for because I need to go to work.”

Residents hope flooding won’t be an issue during the next storm.

A county spokesperson said county workers repeatedly go out to clear debris from the pipes and ditches along a section of Dublin Circle.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.