Sebastian City Council to tackle slow drainage problems

Flooding in Sebastian, Florida.
Flooding in Sebastian, Florida.

The Sebastian City Council plans to address the recent drainage problems that we’ve seen with rainstorms. Overall, the drainage works, but very slowly, causing water to back up on local streets.

Friday’s afternoon downpour was estimated to be between five to six inches of rain in just a short amount of time.

“We are working on issues with the drainage ditches, and after the full-scale Stormwater Management Plan is completed, we should be able to identify the major areas of blockage,” Mayor Ed Dodd told Sebastian Daily.

Dodd said he knows people will expect the city to quickly fix the issues, but they are bigger than a quick fix.

Vice Mayor Jim Hill also plans to address the flooding issues during the next regular City Council meeting.

Newly elected City Council member Chris Nunn said he witnessed about six inches of water on the north side of CR-512 (Sebastian Blvd), but it dropped almost three to four inches in about two hours. Nunn said the Council would be discussing this issue during the next regular Council meeting.

“It was draining just slowly as that was a lot of rain. If we can clear the ditches and canals of the vegetation, it would drain quicker,” Nunn said.

Newly re-elected Councilman Bob McPartlan also plans on addressing the drainage problem as well.

“There’s a number of factors that go into it, but I haven’t seen it this bad in 10 years. What’s even weirder is that this time different streets flooded versus last time,” McPartlan told Sebastian Daily.

Flooding in Sebastian, Florida.
Flooding in Sebastian, Florida.

Newly elected Councilman Fred Jones said he was at City Hall Friday reviewing documents on the Integrated Pest Management program when the rainstorm hit Sebastian.

“I overheard an employee walking down the hall talking on his cell phone about road closures due to flooding. A few minutes later, I found it hard to focus on what I was doing as all I could think about was the flooded roads in the city,” Jones told Sebastian Daily.

Jones said he left City Hall, traveled down Main Street to Fleming, and made a left turn to go east on CR-512 to observe a host of city vehicles at South Wimbrow Drive.

“I observed several vehicles South of CR-512 disabled due to the flooded road. I learned that at one point, CR-512 was also closed at some point due to flooding. We got a great deal of rain in a short amount of time. I witnessed the water recede very quickly after the rain stopped. We will soon have a Stormwater Management Plan that will address these issues. I ask that all Sebastian residents stay patient and give us time to correct the issues created over the past nine months,” Jones added.

Many residents blame the flooding on the moratorium on using herbicides and pesticides without having a plan to remove vegetation.

Ever since the City of Sebastian stopped maintaining the canals by ending all spraying, there has been mass growth, and residents have complained about it.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.