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Naples drainage issues becoming a bigger problem after Hurricane Ian

Posted at 7:31 PM, Oct 17, 2022

NAPLES, Fla. — Several weeks after Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida, Naples residents are now experiencing a new issue.

“The streets here were literally almost impassible. Well, they were impassible unless you had a boat,” Old Naples resident James Orourke said. He shared photos with Fox 4 of his neighborhood streets flooded after a weekend of heavy rain. “This happens, especially in high tides or heavy rains, and it just keeps repeating.”

Naples Interim Streets and Stormwater Director Bob Middleton explained area storm drains and drainage systems have been maxed out since Hurricane Ian. Even a short period of heavy rain can compound the problem further, according to Middleton, causing curbside debris to block storm drains that are often already clogged with mud and other natural materials.

“It’s going to be that way for a while,” Middleton said. “People want instant relief. There’s not going to be instant relief. We’ve got people working around the clock to keep it clear, but what complicates it is the rain we've had.”

Middleton estimated 30 days before residents can expect to see sizable progress. He advised residents to keep curbside trash and debris away from storm drains, fire hydrants and water meters.

“I know that this too shall pass,” Orourke said. “The blessing is being in a place I love, and we will rebuild, and we’ll be fine.”