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Neighborhood HOA calls OYS team for help with decades old flooding problem

5:06 PM, May 31, 2013   |    comments
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  • Photo courteous of Jerry Philpot

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Neighbors said they've lived with a decades old problem and they just aren't getting any help and that is a big concern.

The Sutton Place Homeowner's Association was so concerned, they called the On Your Side team for help.

All it takes is a good bit of rain for the problem to grow and grow. Neighbors and an HOA representative said that problem swells up until it intrudes into some folks homes.

The gently moving creek cuts right through the Sutton townhomes. This branch of Grigsby's creek is a part of life.

"It's right in front of my front door," Homeowner, Paul Stephens said.

Stephens should know; the neighborhood's been home since 1997.

"But, we do have that one problem with the creek," he said.

When the heavy rain comes, the creek rises and floods some of the homes. The last one was tropical storm Beryl when 3 homes and landscaping suffered thousands of dollars in damage, according to Sutton Place property Manager, Jerry Philpot.

"(We are) worried about whether it's going to quit raining or not," Stephens said. "It used to be a lot deeper than it is now. We've been trying to get it cleaned out over the years."

More than 25 years, according to Philpot. He and Stehpens said they want the creek dredged and widened to allow for better water flow.

"But, so far, we've had no luck," Philpot explained. "All of our work orders have been cancelled, with no explanation."

Philpot further explained "The homeowners just want to get some help to keep their units from flooding. Keep the landscape from flooding and the bridges from possibly washing away."

Debbie Delgado, a City of Jacksonville spokeswoman, told FCN the city has removed blockages from the creek in the past. But, they can't go in and dredge the creek because it is a natural waterway and any work done would have to go through the St. John's River Water Management District.

First Coast News called the SJRWMD's Jacksonville Service Center. Dale Lovell, a Compliance Coordinator, told FCN the creek in the Sutton Place subdivision is a project that pre-dates the existence of the district. Lovell said the community has hired a civil engineer to look at the problem. Lovell said dredging might be part of a solution but that depends heavily on the engineer's findings. Lovell was not able to offer any sort of time frame.

First For You, if you are considering buying or renting in a floodplain, FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program website said:

1) Know your area's flood risk that way you can make informed decisions about protecting your property.

2) Know what is and what is not covered by flood insurance, which in some cases is mandatory.

Find your neighborhood flood map at the FEMA Floodsmart website. There, you will also find and helpful links and numbers as well as your neighborhood flood hazard map.

First Coast News

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