NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodDowntown Fort Myers

Actions

Do you know which Ft Myers city streets are more prone to flooding?

In addition to heavy rain fall, limited drainage, clogged drains, and rising tides can all make localized flooding worse in parts of Fort Myers.
Posted at 7:35 PM, Jun 11, 2024

FT MYERS, Fla. — Forecasts are showing the current weather set-up will pump tropical moisture into much of Southwest Florida through the weekend.

Miyoshi Price Public Works Ft Myers
Ft Myers own committed Community Correspondent Miyoshi Price walked around the city with its public works director to understand preparations made to deal with a week of heavy rains.

So on Tuesday, your Ft Myers Community Correspondent (that's me, Miyoshi Price) spent part of the day with the Ft Myers public works director, Peter Bieniek, as he explained how the city's been proactive to respond to localized flooding, when it inevitably occurs.

"We have positioned signs throughout the city at areas that we know are going to potentially flood, depending on the circumstance," said Bieniek.

ft myers flooding signs high water
A Ft Myers city worker prepares signage to warn drivers of localized flooding during a week of heavy rains in June 2024.

The Fort Myers Police Department shared the following locations as known problem areas in the city:

  • Fowler from Edison to approximately Hansen
  • Palm Beach Boulevard Eastbound at Seaboard
  • sometimes Cleveland (US-41) near Edison
  • First Street at Evans

Police said these stretches and intersections typically always hold water, causing delays.
Bieniek also talked about ponding along Palm Beach Boulevard. "You'll see water start to rise in the edges and things like that," said Bieniek. "Always remember, when rain hits the road, you have a very good chance of hydroplaning. Watch how you're breaking."

Limited drainage and clogged drains often cause water to back up quickly in downtown and other very low-lying areas. Bieniek said crews started cleaning out storm drains on Monday as soon as the rain started to fall. "We do it periodically in a preventative way, but we knew the rain event was coming, so we started yesterday in preparation," says Bieniek.

Miyoshi Price public works ft myers drain
Ft Myers own committed Community Correspondent Miyoshi Price studies a storm drain with Public Works Director Peter Bierniek as they discuss the city's preparations to deal with a week of heavy rains.

Bieniek also warned that tides can make things worse. "If you know what the tide events are, at high tide, that's the worst time, because the storm drains can't go to the river the way it should. So if you have a heavy rain at a high tide, you're going to get the highest chance of flooding."

Through Alert Lee, the City of Fort Myers issued this weather alert Tuesday morning:

The City of Fort Myers is fully prepared to manage the anticipated increased rainfall and urges all residents to exercise patience, caution, and safe practices during this period.

Safety Tips:

• Avoid driving through flooded areas. When in doubt, turn around.

• Secure debris, trash cans, and other items to prevent clogging of drainage systems.

• Monitor announcements from the National Weather Service and local Emergency Management

• Do not drink, wade, or swim in floodwaters

The Fort Myers Police Department shared this statement to inform the public about their role during this wet week ahead:

The Fort Myers Police Department works closely with the City of Fort Myers Emergency Management team and Public Works to monitor these systems and have a plans in place should roadways flood or and other resources need be deployed.
We encourage drivers to avoid areas that appear under water and seek alternate routes. We also encourage drivers to follow Florida law by utilizing windshield wipers and headlights while traveling in rain. Reducing speed and leaving room in between vehicles on the roadways allows time to react and avoid collision during heavy rain.

Fort Myers Police Department