Stormwater Crews prepare for Wet Weather
St. Petersburg, Fla. (August 6, 2018) – Just about a year ago, Tampa Bay area residents – and the City of St. Petersburg – were getting ready for Hurricane Irma. While that storm spared our neighborhoods the brunt of its tropical-force impact, some important lessons were learned – including how to better prepare for wet-weather impact.
In the days leading up to Irma’s landfall, crews from the Stormwater, Pavement and Traffic Operations Department were not only filling a record number of sandbags, they were also pro-actively draining down Lake Maggiore, to prevent potential flooding impacts.
Now, a year later, many of those same workers are starting work to “pump-down” the lake by about a foot. A 12” bypass pump has been temporarily placed near flood gates on the east side of the lake to pump water from Lake Maggiore into Salt Creek (which eventually conveys to Tampa Bay).
“It worked well last year,” said Stormwater Supervisor Sam Sturgill. “We had no flooding issues on MLK – even during Irma’s heavy rainfall. So, we’re doing it again. Just to be on the safe side.”
Crews will run the pump during daylight hours over the next several days to minimize any disruption to neighbors. It is estimated that the pump-down could take several weeks to complete.