Construction ongoing on Fowler Street, but it won’t fix the flooding issue

Reporter: Emma Heaton
Construction is ongoing on Fowler Street but none of it will fix the flooding issue. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Drivers have to deal with the fear of getting stuck on a busy street because of heavy flooding.

It happens every time there’s rain on Fowler Street.

At the moment, part of Fowler Street is closed as crews work on sewage lines, but the construction has nothing to do with the flooding issue.

WINK News asked the Florida Department of Transportation and the City of Fort Myers about the flooding issues, but they both pointed fingers at each other and said it wasn’t their problem.

That’s not what business owners and drivers want to hear.

Florida downpours cause the streets to flood, cars get stuck.

Sometimes, they float.

Businesses along Fowler know it all too well.

Fulgencio Lopez, who owns Fuji’s Automotive, said he has been dealing with it for almost 19 years.

“We have literally over the ages seen cars stall and float away like a boat,” Lopez said. “They float away.”

And the FDOT told WINK News over and over that there is a plan to fix it.

In July, the Department sent an email saying: “FDOT District 1, along with the City of Fort Myers and Lee County, share your concerns about the flooding issues along Fowler Street and are actively working to find solutions.”

Another email says: “We look forward to the opportunity to work with our municipal partners to correct these concerns.”

But by phone on Tuesday, an FDOT spokesman said something totally different.

He said the flooding issue is the city’s and they cannot speak on their behalf.

But the city denies this.

“FDOT maintains the storm sewer on Fowler. And we will engage with them to see what plans they have. But it’s not maintained by the City of Fort Myers,” said Fort Myers Public Public Works Director Richard Moulton.

The reason the road is closed is so crews can replace sewer lines, which the city maintains.

Moulton said normally, the flood waters recede in two hours and that’s acceptable under the stormwater management requirements.

If the water remained for 48 hours, there would be a different reaction, which means business and drivers along the Fowler corridor won’t see relief anytime soon.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.