ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- It was a one-two punch Wednesday in St. Augustine.
Heavy rain mixed with a high-high tide that was created by a full moon. That meant some downtown city streets flooded, as they often do in St. Augustine.
One of those streets was Cordova.
Aimee Wiles-Banion's business is on Cordova. It's the High Tide Gallery, but that doesn't mean she is a fan of high water on the street.
"It could be a 5 minute rain but if it's hard enough, our sewer system just can't handle the overflow," Wiles-Banion explained.
Evelyn Young's business - Second Read Books - is a couple doors down on Cordova Street.
"Books and rugs don't mix well with water," Young noted.
She was out Wednesday morning monitoring the rain and the roads to see if it would flood into her low-lying business.
"In August, it came up to here," Young said as she pointed to a spot on her door about six inches high. "And that's what prompted all the sandbags."
She and Wiles-Banion have sandbags, ready to protect the front doors if the water rises.
"If I use the sandbags, our business will be okay," Wiles-Banion said. "But if I don't, the waves created by the cars going by will literally flood into my gallery."
"That's part and parcel of being in the old city, I suppose," Young added.
The City of St. Augustine has updated its Storm Water Facilities Master Plan this year. Evaluating and alleviating flooding on Cordova Street is one of the three priority projects.
The city has just finished working on Riberia Street, and work is still underway at the southern part of the sea wall. Those are two areas where flooding has been pretty bad in years past.
City officials said flooding wasn't nearly as bad Wednesday morning in those two improved areas, even with a downpour, a high tide, and a full moon.
But on Cordova, it still flooded as usual.
"If St. Augustine can do something about his problem, that would help all the merchants downtown," Wiles-Banion said.
St. Augustine's public works department aims to start designing solutions in two years, but for now merchants are relying on sandbags and a plea to drivers.
"I'm in the process of painting a "NO WAKE ZONE" sign for our front door whenever this happens in order to slow cars down," Wiles-Banion smiled, "I'm not kidding!"
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First Coast News