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St. Pete finishes flooding fix in Shore Acres

Posted at 6:54 PM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 20:35:23-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla -- St. Petersburg has a flooding fix in the works to keep dozens of Shore Acres homes dry. 

During rainy season, it's not uncommon to see Denver Park underwater. Last summer, water from the park seeped right into people’s backyards, sending six inches to a foot of water into yards. 

One downpour, or even afternoon high tide, can put Shore Acres streets underwater. Yet for Josh Cammack and Bill Haight, the flooding comes from behind their homes. 

In Denver Park, the land is low and the water sometimes displaces straight into neighbors' yards. 

Now, a new solution is in the works: big swales. 


“It is a tidal ditch so water comes in and it goes out," explained John Norris of St. Pete's Public Works department.

St. Pete leaders think there used to be a ditch in the park for 50-70 years, but over time, it filled in with grass clippings and other lawn debris. The new swales are much deeper and wider. 

“When we get a heavy downpour in the summer this will definitely help," Norris explained.

Neighbors are hopeful, after years of flooding, that this will finally work. 

“I think this is a big relief. We're all hoping it works to keep our yards and homes dry," Haight said.

This will be Cammack's first wet season in his home on Denver St NE.

"You can see where the water came up to this house," he said pointing about a foot up on the back of his home, "We are all staying positive. It would be fantastic if it works."

Several neighbors had initial concerns about the look of the new swale, but Haight says if it works, it's worth it.

“A lot of people were complaining because it’s an eyesore but in the end, you’ve gotta get the water out or it’ll flood a house,” Haight said.

ABC Action News found out several communities on both sides of the bay are working on flood prevention projects— from streets to parks. After two extremely wet rainy seasons, cities are putting those projects on the fast track.