PUNTA GORDA Fla.- Kevin Doyle has owned the Celtic Ray in downtown Punta Gorda for 15 years and he knows a thing or two about flooding "Weve had 54 floods by now where water has actually come in the building from flooding", said Doyle. Doyle was so used to having water at his door that until last year, he always kept sandbags on hand. John Melley lives on Dolly Street down the road. He too knows the pain of flood waters. "I've had five inches of water inside my house", said Melley.
Just over two years ago the city started on a 2 stage plan to alleviate the problem by coming through some of the worst roads in the city and replacing the drainage pipes going out to the river. "It's been a big help we haven't had any problem", said Melley. Now FEMA has agreed to pony up 1 point 6 million dollars to help the city fix the last four roads that are prone to seasonal flooding. Specifically, Durrance and Harvey streets on the west side of town and Mary, Booth and Adrienne on the east side. The city is matching FEMA's money with 25 percent of the cost. Doyle would tell you that it's money well spent: "We will get some flooding but if we can reduce it a lot better for us," he said.