County project aims to ease Brandon flooding woes

New pond to alleviate high waters

BRANDON, Fla. - Over the past couple of years, parts of the Tampa Bay area have had chronic flooding problems. Now, a Hillsborough County program is helping residents with high water woes.

The mere thought of rainy days makes Tony Ham cringe. Tony owns Grass Pro Shops, on West Brandon Boulevard. He says when there's heavy rain, the pond next door fills up and water levels sometime threaten his business. Ham said, "Last year, when we had some of the low pressure and some near misses with hurricanes. You know. It was to a point where I'm driving up here at night watching the level of the pond."

But, those levels did get to the business next door. The Gateway to India restaurant, which used to be Pizza Hut, was swallowed by flood waters at one point. Hillsborough officials tell ABC Action News that water drains from the north of the county to the pond.

Steve Valdez works with Hillsborough County's Public Works Department.  He said, "When we have inclement weather, it has historically flooded the businesses out on State Road 60 as well as the residential areas along the north side of the pond."

To ease the flooding, Hillsborough crews are putting in another pond, almost 2 acres, south of 60, near Hilltop Rd. It costs more than $300,000.  Valdez said, "We're hoping that during the normal summer rain event and so on that we won't have this flooding."

The project should be complete by this summer.

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