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More than a foot of rain fell on island

By Staff | Sep 6, 2017


The island experienced isolated areas of flooding during the four day rain event that impacted Southwest Florida late last month.

Mayor Kevin Ruane said in a prepared statement Sunday, Aug. 27, that even though they had areas with standing water and very isolated areas of flooding overall, the infrastructure had done well.

“On behalf of City Council and all our citizens, we appreciate the work of our Public Works, Utilities and Police Department employees who have been at their tasks since this event began on Friday,” Ruane said in the prepared statement.

City Manager Judie Zimomra said over the last 15 years the City of Sanibel has made significant investments in drainage on the main roads, which proved to work really well with the last front that came through the area.

“We only have a three foot average elevation. It can’t stack up too high on Sanibel,” she said.

Zimomra said the swales alongside such streets as Periwinkle Way help with the standing water.

“That is where the water is supposed to stand. That is part of the filtering systems for those areas,” she said.

The areas of the island that had standing water, Zimomra said is not unusual with more than a foot of rain.

“With a foot of rain there is going to be issues,” she said, adding that the Public Works Department and the Sanibel Police Department have been working hard taking care of it all.

At no point over the four days were any of the streets impassable.

“The sunshine is helping quite a bit, helping it get evaporated,” Zimomra said Tuesday morning, after the island experienced more rain the night before.

From Friday, Aug. 25, through Tuesday,, Aug. 29, 12.71 inches of rain was recorded at the City’s Donax Sanitary Sewer facility.

With the recent heavy rainfall producing standing water, as well as the island being surrounded by mangroves, wetlands and salt marshes, it’s prime breeding ground for mosquitos, which typically has a season from May through October.

Those experiencing a high number of mosquitos at their residence, or business can make a service request with the Lee County Mosquito Control District at www.angwatechnology.com/lee_devel/PublicServiceRequest/ or contact the LCMCD directly at (239) 694-2174. According to the city, when LCMCD receives complaints from a specific area, or neighborhood, they dispatch personnel to conduct a mosquito count. If warranted, they will fog, or spray the area.

The areas of treatment can be found at www.lcmcd.com/services-programs/treatment-schedule/.

On Monday, Aug. 28, City Hall was closed for general business due to many employees living off-island in flooded neighborhoods, some of whom experienced flooding in their own homes, as well as more rain projected to fall that day. On Tuesday all offices reopened for business.