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Charlotte County: Expect standing water for several days after heavy downpour

Port Charlotte flooding
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 05:45:34-04

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.  — After flooding Charlotte County rains this weekend, county leaders continue to say people who live in the area will just have to deal with up to three days of standing water.

John Elias, the Director for Charlotte County Public Works, said 72 hours is actually county policy.

"There is no system in the world that's designed to handle the types of rainfall like we got on Saturday," said Elias.

The saying goes when it rains it pours but in Charlotte County that means backed-up drains and flooded streets.

Over the weekend, Elias said parts of the county received 8 inches of rain on Saturday.

Elias said during those heavy downpours, concerns will dry out if homeowners wait three days.

Elias said the slow drainage helps prevent pollutants from entering our waterways.

He said swales may still have water in them after this time frame, but if it is lower, this means the system is working.

It's an experience homeowner Joy Peterson wasn’t used to when she moved into her house off Pellam Boulevard this past October.

"This entire area was under water, the whole ditch was underwater, the driveway was under water," said Peterson.

On Monday, Pullam Boulevard was an area where other homeowners on Facebook said the 72 hour rule is putting their house in danger.

Facebook, Charlotte County, Florida Government

"So what we always tell people , if you have water close to entering your house, that is a problem and you should call someone, we will respond 24 hours a day. We basically triage it, if you have water in your swale, that's where it's supposed to be. We get a significant rain event, our roads, a lot of people don't realize this but the roads actually serve as a secondary swale system and that's why your houses are built higher than the roads," said Elias.

Peterson said for her, flooding has not been a problem for months. 

"Since the rains came back here in Spring, I have had bo drainage problems, even when it rained really heavy last weekend," said Peterson.

If there is a substantial amount of standing water after a weather event, you should call Charlotte County Public Works at, 941-575-3600.