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Flood solution sought on Kenneth City road

As residents complain about flooding, officials plan to clean out dirty pipes in trouble spots.

By ANNE LINDBERG

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 3, 2000


KENNETH CITY -- While people across the Tampa Bay area are praying for rain, Bernice and Herschel Berry dread the next storm and the flooding it will bring to their neighborhood street. "I can't get my little car out when it does that," Mrs. Berry said. "I don't understand why they haven't done something about this."

One rainstorm was so bad, she said, that the water came up their driveway and almost flooded the garage. The Berrys' garage is about 8 feet above street level.

Flooding has always been a problem along their section of the 4700 block Lake Charles Drive, the Berrys said. But the situation got a lot worse after the town resurfaced the road a few years ago.

"The water just stands," said Cora Pike, another Lake Charles Drive resident. "I didn't see where they did anything but make it worse than it was before."

Calling the Kenneth City Town Hall for help does no good, they said.

The last time they called, two town workers came out.

"They just took two shovels and swished it across the top of the water, then they left," Mrs. Berry said. Later, they "came up here and did it again."

That did not help. And now the Berrys and the Pikes want the Town Council to fix the problem.

Council member Al Carrier said he went over to the Berrys during the last rainstorm and saw no problems. It's not a drainage problem, council member Chuck Webber thinks, but a road design issue.

Mrs. Pike disagrees. She insists it has to be a drainage problem.

"The lakes are empty and (rain water) still stands," Mrs. Pike said. "It's got to be something in the sewer system."

But if it is a drainage problem, help may be coming soon.

The council is ready to approve a contract to have JTV Inc. photograph and clean out the dirty drains and pipes in that section of Kenneth City.

Carrier said he did not know whether the 4700 block of Lake Charles would be high on the list, but that workers would get to the area.

"I know this didn't happen overnight," Carrier said. "It's been going on a long time."

Help can't come soon enough to suit the Berrys and the Pikes.

"The rainy season is coming and when it does, you might as well forget it because you're not going to be able to drive," Mrs. Pike said.

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