Duval County

Neighborhood floods twice in 24 hours; residents fear more to come with TS Elsa approaching

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A neighborhood in Avondale, notorious for flooding, is bracing for what could happen due to Tropical Storm Elsa.

On Monday, we asked what they experienced on Challen Avenue, just off Park Street.

Neighbor Dr. Chau Kelly said, “Persistent flooding whenever there’s a rainstorm like this one we’re having right now. Even if it lasts for 10 or 15 minutes, it’s enough to fill up the street.”

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And that’s exactly what happened. When we started the interview, the ground was just wet. But by the end, just 15 minutes later, the entire street was covered in water.

“I have what I call occasional lakefront property, and that’s not what I bought. … I bought a house on a regular street,” said Kelly.

Kelly and her family have lived on Challen Avenue in Avondale for 10 years. She said it’s not just a nuisance — it’s dangerous too.

“We’ve been trapped in our house, so we can’t go to work or go to school. We’ve been trapped where we can’t get home,” she said.

She told us it floods no matter what type of storm. On June 13, the water got so high that some cars stuck in the street were deemed totaled from the water damage.

“It’s exhausting; it’s exhausting every summer. We know what’s going to happen, and we know it’s going to be stressful and difficult,” she said.

And with more rain likely on the way from Elsa, neighbors are concerned.

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“Always concerned anytime, actually anytime there’s rain. So I hear thunder. I always worry,” said Kelly.

She said she and her husband will move their car to a friend’s house and secure their home to make sure they’re prepared for high water.

Many neighbors said they are beyond frustrated and want the city to fix the drainage issue.

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