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County hopes redirecting water will ease flooding in northwest Cape Coral

By Staff | Jan 25, 2009

Lee County Department of Natural Resources is working on trying to reduce flooding in Northwest Cape.
The Matlacha Pass Hydrologic Restoration Project is scheduled to be completed in April 09, just in time for the start of the rainy season. According to project manager Tildon Copeland, the project is trying to battle storm water runoff and sheet flow along Burnt Store Rd.
“The last big flood was 2003. The water had totally covered the road,” Copeland said. “There’s not enough drainage structures to handle all of that water at one time.”
The project will hopefully restore historical flow patterns to Matlacha Pass.
Budgeted at $1.2 million, the project has been in the works since 2004. Having gone through several stages of planning and bidding, the project finally got off the ground in Nov. 2008.
The project will expand three cross drain culverts under Burnt Store Rd., redirecting sheet flow and storm water from east to west.
Copeland said he is “new to project”, having come on board after the design and bid phases were complete.
He expects things to finish well on schedule, though didn’t know if there would be additional work from other county departments – such as Department of Transportation – after Lee County DNR finishes their work.
If things go according to plan, flooding should be reduced along Burnt Store Rd.
“I’ve seen some pictures of the 2003 flood and it was pretty bad,” Copeland said. “This should be something that will really help out, and help to reduce flooding in the area.”