Pinellas storm crews repair roads during record rainfall

OLDSMAR, Fla. - You would have been wise to grab an umbrella on your way out of the house today.  That's because we had the kind of day that has made this a record-breaking season for rainfall across the Tampa Bay area.  County crews are working hard to keep up with the downpours.

Right now, Pinellas County's Stormwater Department is on the verge of completing a $10,000 road repair project. They say it will make the commute much easier for people living in one Bay area neighborhood.

Flood waters from Tropical Storm Debby swallowed part of East Lake Drive,in Oldsmar. When the water receded, it left behind potholes and cracks all over the road surface.

Joshua Taylor says it was hazardous for drivers. He takes the street to work at Lakeview Community Church. Taylor said, "The potholes, when you hit the car, the car just bottoms out sometimes. I know my car isn't in good shape. I have bad tires. It's really scary for me."

To get the road in better shape, Pinellas County crews are repaving a 30 foot stretch of East Lake, near Keystone Road.  After Debby, crews temporarily closed a section of the street to avoid potential emergencies.

Jamie Prawl oversees the project. Prawl said, "If it was not to be closed and the citizen then realized that there was a void in there, we could have lost, a car could have gone in, if you have a road cave in."

In fact, the heavy rainfall caused voids and potholes across the county. Stormwater officials say the heavier the rain, the more calls they get from concerned citizens. Prawl said, "The last six years, I think this year's been the worst for potholes and the issues with cracks in the roadways."

If the weather cooperates, the project on East Lake should be finished tomorrow. If you see road problems in your area, we would like to hear from you. You can email James Jackson at jjackson@wfts.com.

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