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As Hurricane Season Looms Ahead, Leon County Works To Prevent Neighborhood Entrances From Flooding

Pictured here is the WFSU Public Media logo against a blue background.
Valerie Crowder
A school zone in Tallahassee

Hurricane season beings June 1, and heavy storms bring potential floods. Kevin Peters is the Emergency Management Director for Leon County. He says low-lying areas around Lake Jackson, Ochlockonee, and St. Marks rivers all have potential flood risks.

“It depends on how much rain falls and the rate that it does fall. Some roads may flood in routine rains. We have some low roads that may pond over briefly when we get a heavier rain event from just a general heavy thunderstorm in the summer. But obviously, with a tropical system that drops 20 inches of rain, any road will be subject to flooding,” Peters says.

Peters says in 2008, Tropical Storm Fay dropped 12 to 20 inches of rain across Leon County. Theresa Heiker is the stormwater management coordinator for Leon County’s Public Works department. She says when Fay struck the county, entrances to Golden Pheasant and Windwood Hills neighborhoods got flooded.

“Lake Lafayette rose, and the stream that carries the water from U.S. 27 down to the lake overtopped those roads and made it impossible to get into the neighborhoods that are north of U.S. 27,” Heiker says.

Now, the county is working on projects to improve the water flow in those areas. Peters says 6 to 12 inches of moving water can push a car off the roadway. He advises people to turn around if they see a road is flooded.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.