Maitland officials blame debris for flooding issues

New gravity system to be added along Monroe Avenue

MAITLAND, Fla. – Officials shut down South Orlando Avenue at Monroe Avenue in Maitland on Monday night due to flooding, after promising earlier in the day that the area would not flood again, no matter how much it rained.

The road has flooded three times this month causing three cars to get stuck. City officials said they believe their new plan might work. 

Assistant City Manager Mark Reggentin said the sheer volume of water was a major contributor to the flooding Monday night.

"As far as yesterday, there was a combination of the volume of water coming into the system -- because it was the largest event we had -- with that, you have a lot of debris that comes in," Reggentin said.

Reggentin said the city has been working for a while to add a new drainage system in the next two weeks to better drain the water, but debris has been getting inside the temporary pumps, causing major backups.

For now, beginning Wednesday, he said they’ll be adding a new gravity system along Monroe Avenue and installing a much larger pump.

"The contractor didn’t anticipate the volume of water, so even with these three pumps behind me, it’s not enough to keep up on these huge rain events," Reggentin said.

He said they’ll also be stationing a city emergency worker along Monroe Avenue to better alert them of possible flooding when it rains again. 

He said the new drainage system should be up and functioning in about two weeks. 

"By the time we put everything back together, it’ll be a free-flowing situation," Reggentin said. 

The city of Maitland said it is also working with the Florida Department of Transportation to see if South Orlando Avenue can even handle all the water it gets when it rains.

The city is also reminding drivers to be careful on the flood-prone road when it rains. 

Drivers and people who live nearby say the flooding is frustrating. 

"Two days of it is just very, very frustrating, so hopefully they come up with a solution very, very soon,"  neighbor Sandra Bueaford said. "It’s very, very frustrating. Just to get to my mom’s house, it took me an extra 15 minutes to go around."

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