Tampa crews take preventive steps ahead of storm

Upgrades to pumping station will also help
Posted at 6:40 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-31 18:40:09-04

Tampa City officials and Tampa police identified 30 streets and intersections around the city that are considered potential flood prone areas.

They are ready to close those streets down if they need to.

Crews also started yesterday to clear out the city's storm drains. The city has four super powered trucks. Each are just over $200,000 and officials say they are worth every penny.

The trucks are equipped with a powerful vacuum. The vacuum sucks out debris or anything else that blocks out the drains.

The debris is then disposed of at a designated area out of the port.

Jean Duncan Tampa's head of Transportation and Storms said this preventive action is crucial.

"It is critically important. Leaves other debris can get caught in those drains. This way we can get all of that out and the water can flow freely through the drains. Getting this done now will be a huge help as these rains hit," said Duncan.

People we talked to all over Tampa from East Tampa to Davis Islands are thankful for all the help.

"I am glad they are being pro-activce," said Danielle Marante who lives on Davis Islands. 'This area floods any time there is rain. I give the crews an A+ for effort."

So does Ed Gavagan. He also lives on Davis Islands and used an app the city launched last year after heavy flooding. 

You can request help from crews on the app for flooding and other issues.

"I just can't believe it. It was so quick. I let them know Tuesday about this drain because my house is right in front of the bus stop for Gorrie, Wilson and Plant schools. I don't want to see kids wading in all that water. And now here they are," said Gavagan.

Tampa city officials are also confident upgrades they made to the city's largest pumping station this past year will better handle the storms.