TAMPA, Fla. - After years of repeated flooding in the university area of Tampa, help has finally arrived.
Now, the new Donut Pond pump station is a welcome relief for residents.
"We wanted something that this neighborhood would be proud of; and that prevented the flooding that has plagued you for so long," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at this week's ribbon cutting.
The $7 million Donut Pond Pump Station should alleviate flooding troubling the area around Fowler Ave. for decades.
Residents from a nearby assisted living facility even had to be evacuated after Hurricane Frances in 2004.
Loretta Abernathy has lived nearby for more than 40 years. She has pictures dating back to the 70's that chronicle the history of flooding in her neighborhood. Today marks a new beginning. "Maybe an end to the flooding of the street, my home. Ease. Even taking a trip and not have to worry that, 'Okay, is my house going to flood if it rains down there.' So it gives a lot of piece of mind," said Abernathy.
The project is a combined effort of the city, Hillsborough County and Swiftmud.
"This is what local government should be doing. It has a direct impact on the day to day quality of these citizens lives," said Mayor Buckhorn.
Like another pump station that opened less than a year ago in South Tampa, the Donut Pond Pump Station is meant to fit into the neighborhood along 113th Avenue. "I've seen other kinds of pump stations and things, and nothing like this, this is beautiful," said resident Eileen Nystrom.