• Fixing flooding issues in one of Hurricane Matthew's hardest hit areas

    By: Russell Colburn , Action News Jax


    One of the hardest hit areas from Hurricane Matthew is hoping to soon fix its flooding problem.

    St. Johns County is working on a multimillion dollar drainage project in the North Beach area, but it still has funding hurdles to clear.

    The First Alert Weather Team said the area got nearly 2.5 inches of rain from Saturday to Monday.

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    Action News Jax found several inches of standing water in the drainage ditches Tuesday on Twenty-Second and Twenty-Third streets.

    The First Alert Weather Team said this area saw more than seven inches of rain, and four to six feet of storm surge during Matthew.

    “We had like 22 inches -- or about this much -- water inside the garage after Matthew,” said Randy Andrews of Twenty-Third Street.

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    “[Flooding is] a pretty regular occurrence, so we deal with the full ditches and then the mosquitoes,” Andrews said.

    St. Johns County said the $2 million drainage plan will take existing drainage ditches and install new swales and pipes to connect to and convey storm water drainage into the Intracoastal from A1A on Twenty-Second and Twenty-Third streets. 

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    “Whatever they can do to make that better is welcome, for sure,” Andrews said.

    But, Action News Jax learned funding remains an issue.

    “They don’t have the money to really do it,” neighbor Mel Longo said.  “They have the money to design it.”

    The designs cost the county nearly $63,000, and a federal grant covered more than $188,000 in a 75% and 25% partnership.

    The county hopes to have the design finalized by May and start construction by the end of next year, pending the funding and state approval.

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