Residents Push PC Commissioners to Address Flooding Prevention

Several days of heavy rain around July 4th caused unprecedented flooding across most of Bay County. A number of Panama City residents want to know what city official are doing to prevent it from happening again.

"I just would like to know what is going to be done in the future for this?" Virginia Nunley asked commissioners.

The city says most of the problems faced by residents in her area - near Cincinnati Avenue and 19th Street were caused by a freak occurrence.

"Everything was working fine and apparently after this lightning strike it took out a circuit breaker,” said Public Works Director Neil Fravel, “none of the three pumps were on initially when the calls started coming in."

Officials with Public Works say they fixed the problem at first, but another issue caused a pump to fail, leading to more flooding since the water had nowhere to go. Now officials are working to ensure that when problems like this arise, they're addressed as quickly as possible and residents will know what's going on.

"We're addressing those issues,” said Panama City Commissioner Mike Nichols “we're adding some fail-safe programs to the pumps over on 19th Street to make sure that if they go out, if they get hit by lightning again we'll know sooner than later."

"We're looking at how that system can be rewired and if necessary a battery backup or something put in there to ensure that the light comes on and what that light tells us is that the level in the pond is rising, it's a high level alarm," Fravel.

In addition to working with residents to keep them informed, city officials say they plan to look into what can be done to prevent flooding in the future. Commissioners say they will be looking into different resources to see how they can be able to provide assistance.

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