Tropical Storm Fay flooding solutions?

By Allison Bybee e-mail

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL (WFLX) - You probably remember the wrath of Tropical Storm Fay, who can soon forget? Especially in Port St. Lucie. Homes and streets under water, and no one could get to their homes. Now, possible solutions.

Since August 2008, the city of Port St. Lucie has spent $10 million to remedy the issue, but more work still needs to be done. Wednesday they brought their ideas to the people.

Days after Tropical Storm Fay, the Lowings ripped up their water-logged home. Now, nearly five months later and $50,000 out of pocket, Jenny Lowing says, "It's all done it is wonderful, but it was a terrible ordeal."

The Lowings listened Wednesday to how the city plans to stop future flooding.

Tropical Storm Fay hammered the eastern section of the city. The only way home was from a ride on a dump truck or bus.

Now, a possible solution: The city suggests adding new pumping stations or building new retention ponds. The cost: an estimated $20 million. For all Port St. Lucie residents that could be $15 to $17 extra a year in taxes. The response from residents: "Why does it take so long for the city to step up?" says one resident. Another says, "Who had the authority to close it (the creek) up?" Another concerned resident says, "We're paying thousands of dollars in taxes now. I don't think people would object."

Now, it's up to the city to decide. City Engineer, Walter England, says, "The question is 'Is it worth spending the money to fix the problems?'"

And most residents like, Paul Eskew, say yes, "I think the plan will work if they do it all."

The Lowings agree, they don't want to go through the nightmare again. Jenny Lowing says, "In my opinion it should just be done. What's $15 to $17 more a year?"

No final decision has been made by the city. Officials will first wade through all the concerns and ideas from city residents.