Flood mitigation is a focus in Lee County meetings

Neighbors in Island Park remember when their homes were surrounded by water after Hurricane Irma hit.

“The water was about at my waist,” said Kenley Merritt, a neighbor.

Now, Lee County is holding meetings to discuss flood mitigation and they are already working on projects to prevent flooding. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is helping to pay the bill.

“Lee County had the ability to receive some federal funding from the Natural Resources and Conservation Service,”¬†said Roland Ottolini, Lee County natural resources director.

The Ten Mile Canal Project started in October. Lee County hopes this series of meetings will give them a clearer idea of which other solutions will work best.

“It gives us an opportunity for the public to see some of the work that we’ve done so far in response to the flooding,”¬†Ottolini said. “But also, what we have planned in the year and also the distant future in terms of projects.”

Neighbors said they are happy something is finally being done to keep the water out of their homes.

“It’s never too late,” said Michelle Wieg, a neighbor. “We have to resolve it and by taking action immediately, I see that they’re headed in the right direction.”

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Michael Mora