Water-Related News

Flooding fixes underway in "Duck Pond" watershed

TAMPA – Around midnight on June 24, people living in apartments along 15th Street, just north of Fowler Avenue, awoke to water flowing under their doors.

"About 3 feet of water was in those people's homes," said a man who gave his name as the "Sign Man," gesturing to some dreary pink apartments on 15th Street. "Every one of them from here on down had to move out."

The culprit was Tropical Storm Debby, a slow-moving storm that dumped 6 to 12 inches of rain on Hillsborough County over nearly three days.

The poor neighborhoods west of the University of South Florida were among the hardest hit areas around Tampa. Some residents said the brown water rose to the door handles of their cars.

Because of previous flooding, Hillsborough County had spent about $24 million on drainage improvements in the area before Debby, including creating two retention ponds totaling 7 acres. But the system couldn't stand up to the Debby deluge.