St. Pete community still frustrated over flooding

Sewer stormwater task force launching soon
Posted at 6:54 PM, Sep 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-15 18:54:18-04

St. Petersburg’s infrastructure problems are still in the spotlight. Pinellas County is now getting involved, after Hurricane Hermine flooded the sewer system, forcing the city to dump millions of gallons of sewage water into the bay. 

People did not get a chance to speak about infrastructure at the city council in St. Petersburg Thursday. There was no public forum. 

“If they really see that it’s a critical issue that’s effecting this region then they would make time and a priority for it,” Marci Emerson, who lives in St. Petersburg, said. 

Frustration over flooding Janet Kasper echoes, in the Shore Acres home she shares with her daughter. 

“They all flood, there’s not one road that does not flood, you just have to pick the one that’s the least flooded,” Kasper said. 

Pinellas County commissioners are starting a sewer stormwater task force. The chairman said Hurricane Hermine exposed the county’s weaknesses. St. Pete’s mayor said he takes care of sewage for multiple communities, not just his own city. 

 “We didn’t get to this place overnight we’re not going to be able to fix it overnight,” Mayor Rick Kriseman said. “If we have a chance to figure out ways that we can help each other I think it’s worth having that discussion and doing anything we can.”

Marci said it’s now time for action. 

“We’re not going to be able to enjoy anything our city has to offer if we don’t fix our infrastructure, no one’s going to want to visit the pier, there’s going to be no tourists, our businesses are going to go out of business,” she said.

The task force is set to meet for the first time Tuesday.