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Crews reinforce some areas in SWFL counties to prevent flooding

Preparing for the wet weather a tropical system could bring our way, county crews spent the day cleaning up and clearing out debris to prevent flooding.

We checked out some trouble spots in Southwest Florida Wednesday and went along as crews worked.

Crews dug a swale on Richmond Avenue in Lehigh Acres during the afternoon. Neighbors say this area usually isn’t too bad with flooding. But, with Southwest Florida currently in the cone of uncertainty, they’re glad to see some preparations in place.

The intersection outside Scott Alsberge’s Cape Coral home sometimes turns into a swimming pool.

“A couple years ago when we had a couple big storms, the water was a lot,” Alsberge said. “And we had a couple neighborhood kids in a float floating down.”

Alsberge says, anytime there’s a heavy downpour, “Where I’m standing now will be under water.”

That’s why city and county maintenance crews work year-round to clean drains of any debris.

The crews we followed were digging swales on Maribel Mvelez’s street in Lehigh Acres as well Wednesday.

“When it rains here, it gets a little bit flooded on this side mostly,” Mvelez said.

Mvelez said the flooding isn’t as bad as what Alsberge sees over in Cape Coral, but she says has experienced it in other parts of the county.

“Where I used to live over on Lindale, it used to get really flooded,” Mvelez said. “For Irma, yes, oh my God.”

A City of Cape Coral spokesperson said the city also keeping an eye on the storm. They didn’t have any specific projects planned right now for cleaning up swales and drains. But they say, if you do see blockage in one near your home, call the city’s 311 number.

With flashbacks of Hurricane Irma still fresh on their minds, the attention of neighbors is on the radar and their neighborhood streets.

“We just keep an eye on it,” Alsberge said. “A couple days ago when we had the downpours, we took a peek outside to see what was going to happen with the intersection.”

Reporter:Taylor Petras
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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