Emails show issues behind Maitland flooding

South Orlando Avenue flooded at least 3 times over 3 weeks


MAITLAND, Fla. – Emails show that solving the recurring flooding problem on a stretch of State Road 17-92 in Maitland may have hinged on environmental issues.

Floodwaters during rainstorms have closed the intersection of South Orlando Avenue, or SR 17-92, and Monroe Avenue at least three times in the last three weeks.

On April 22, cars were submerged underwater, and at least one driver had to be rescued.

In emails obtained from the city of Maitland, News 6 discovered the city and contractors not only brought in pumps to help divert the water, but they also hired another company to install emergency pipes.

According to a purchase order, it cost the city of Maitland $13,264 for "emergency water diversion."

In emails exchanged in the days following the flood, city staff, engineers and contractors appeared to know how to solve the drainage problem -- by installing new 5-foot and 6-foot pipes, but the emails also show they knew they had to first clear an environmental hurdle.

According to the emails, the city and engineers were concerned about pollution and debris flowing into nearby Lake Gem.

At one point, the city ordered baffle boxes, which are designed to catch debris and keep it from entering the lake, but issues such as elevation and other factors are making them reconsider.

One engineer also shared his concerns over some aspects of the work.

"Though I am not entirely comfortable with some of the input data, nor the flood routing results, I can offer the following recommendation for the sake of keeping things moving along," wrote an engineer from Pegasus Engineering.

That recommendation included installing the new drainage pipes and making a final decision on the baffle boxes.

As of Sunday, Maitland Assistant City Manager Mark Reggentin told News 6 that crews will start installing the pipes this week, and he's hoping workers will be done within the next two weeks.

News 6 chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells said rain is in the forecast for Sunday.


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