Lee County to host public meeting on flood mitigation efforts
Lee County is planning a public meeting to inform stakeholders and residents about the yearlong effort the county has nearly completed for Phase 3 of its post-Hurricane Irma flood mitigation efforts.
The informational meeting will be formatted to accommodate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and will be held in half-hour time slots from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Wa-Ke Hatchee Recreation Center at 16760 Bass Rd. in Fort Myers.
Participants are asked to make a reservation by calling or emailing in advance at 239-533-2282 or [email protected]. People should bring a face covering to wear inside the meeting room, and those who arrive without a reservation will be admitted as room capacity allows. The county plans to create a video at the meeting for those who are unable to attend; it will not be broadcast live.
County staff and engineering firms will be on hand to provide information about the study and its findings related to potential flood-mitigation projects, including east Lee County, southeast Lee, south Fort Myers, and Whiskey Creek. Information also will be available about a prior study completed for North Fort Myers.
The Lee Board of County Commissioners will schedule a work session in November to discuss the study. Visit www.leegov.com/bocc or www.leegov.com/flooding for updates as they become available, or follow Lee County Government on Facebook.
This study and process – Phase 3: Southern Lee County Flood Mitigation Plan – is being developed by local stormwater experts under the direction of Lee County Natural Resources. The Lee Board of County Commissioners in 2018 approved a contract for the engineering firms, who were selected via a procurement process, to do a yearlong assessment with recommendations for the Board looking at conceptual long-term flood-mitigation projects.
While engineers worked on the study, the county continued to clean, assess and maintain flow ways, ditches and canals. Other efforts also continued, including:
- The Board approved an interlocal agreement with the South Florida Water Management District that helps the county and district join forces on flood-mitigation efforts. Specifically, the agreement had the SFWMD take over management and maintenance of 13 natural flow ways and waterbodies;
- The county obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service grant for sediment and debris removal in two areas within the Ten Mile Canal;
- The county repaired a water control structure at US 41 and Mullock Creek which was damaged during the storm:
- The county worked with the East Mullock Water Control District to remove debris from ditches from the San Carlos Park area;
- The county applied for and was awarded $7.1 million through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida Infrastructure Repair Program for flood resiliency spending; it allows the county to step up the pace of drainage improvements in the Mullock Creek basin.
- Lee County Department of Transportation has performed drainage enhancements along Island Park Road and in The Villas.
- The county applied for a $10.3 million federal Community Development Block Grant earmarked for post-Hurricane Irma mitigation to build a filter marsh, reservoir and weirs on the GS-10 parcel north of Lehigh Acres. This CDBG-Mitigation proposal, approved by commissioners, is being reviewed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.