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WATER IN THE ROAD: High water in parts of Punta Gorda from December storms

Posted at 7:02 PM, Dec 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-17 19:02:14-05

PUNTA GORDA, Fla — Residents in Punta Gorda woke up to coastal flooding on Sunday morning following the impact of a low-pressure system from the Gulf of Mexico. The storm brought 44-mile-per-hour winds prompting tornado warnings and causing power outages for over a hundred homes.

"I haven't seen our dock underwater since Dalia," said a resident, describing the extent of the flooding reminiscent of a tropical storm.

Officials urged people to avoid downtown Punta Gorda early Sunday as water overflowed sea walls, affecting streets like Marion and Olympia Avenue.

"I don't know, I'm not used to raining like that anywhere... But it's like I woke up and watched it and was like that's a lot of rain, is that normal?" remarked a local resident in response to the weather.

The flooding disrupted traffic, leading to detours and delays near downtown.

"I braved through the water, but a lot of our staff was turned around at certain points or they turned themselves around because of the water flooding," one worker at a nursing facility told Fox 4.

By Sunday afternoon, the Punta Gorda Police Department confirmed that flood waters had mostly receded. Power had also been restored power in many homes. While most roads were reopened, officials continued to caution residents to drive carefully as area streets dried out.