Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Orange Park Flooding to Get Study County Wants Action for Hard-Hit Areas

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Orange Park Flooding to Get Study County Wants Action for Hard-Hit Areas

Article excerpt

GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- Poor drainage and flooded neighborhoods soaked up a lot of the Clay County Commission's time Tuesday.

Commissioners hired an engineering consulting firm to investigate the causes and cures for flooding in the Loch Rane and Bellair-Meadows neighborhoods near Orange Park.

The action followed a plea for help from residents of the flood-prone areas at a commission meeting last month, when homeowners talked about flooded homes and streets made impassable by raging stormwaters during a violent thunderstorm in late July.

After interviewing representatives from three firms, commissioners voted to hire Camp, Dresser & McKee Inc. of Jacksonville.

One of the hardest hit areas has been along Spencer Road just west of Blanding Boulevard and Kingsley Avenue, where a drainage ditch flows westward through Four Winds Apartments property and Loch Rane Street.

Commission Chairman George Bush said he visited the area about a week earlier, after Northeast Florida had been hammered by prolonged heavy downpours.

He said water flowing through the full drainage ditch, which is owned by the Florida Department of Transportation, "looked like whitewater rapids."

Patrick R. Victor, the engineering firm's project manager, said a preliminary assessment had identified seven problem areas where most of the drainage mishaps had occurred.

Two are east of Blanding Boulevard and five west of the six-lane highway, including an area between Spencer Road and Loch Rane Boulevard where Victor said a "tremendous erosion problem" exists.

Commissioners also agreed Tuesday to seek engineering proposals for a similar drainage study in the Greenwood subdivision between Knight Boxx Road and College Drive, where yards and houses have flooded several times in recent years.

"This is the third time these homes have flooded in the past three years," said Commissioner Larry Lancaster, whose district includes the neighborhood.

Two Greenwood homeowners made personal appeals to commissioners to do something to end the flooding. …

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