LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Lee County is spending 1.3 million dollars, to try to ease the annual flooding along Nalle Grade Rd. in the Bayshore community of North Fort Myers. But some residents are questioning the plan - arguing it might actually make the flooding worse.
"I think government needs to know what they are doing, before they take action. I have no faith in this plan," said Karen Kamener, a homeowner in the Bayshore area. "I believe this plan is not understood by people here, and it might make flooding worse. We can't have that."
The plan, called the Pop Ash Creek Project, would put in retention ponds on 300 acres of county-owned land. Lee also would build a berm and ditch along the west edge of its 300 acres. I hopes to funnel floodwaters into Pop Ash Creek, which flows south to the Caloosahatchee River.
"It is a good plan. It will help. It will not solve all the problems for people out there, but it can be a real benefit," said Roland Ottolini, Dir. of Natural Resources for Lee Co. "We are more than happy to share details of the plan with homeowners in the Bayshore area. It can bring some immediate relief."
The area in northern Lee Co. has been plagued by flooding for decades. Sheet flow carries water from Charlotte County, south into Lee. The water often surrounds homes in the Bayshore area, and sometimes cuts off side roads. Lee Co. put out bids for the project a couple of days ago.
Jo Harder does not like some facets of the plan. "I fear that if they funnel too much water, they could wash out Nalle Grade Road, and then the waters could flood my land to the south of the road. Ottolini explains that the water will flow through huge culverts under Nalle Grade Rd.
The county says work will begin right after the first of the new year, and it's supposed to be done by April or May -- well before the heavy rains of next summer.