North Jacksonville residents tired of flooding problem | Weather

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North Jacksonville residents tired of flooding problem

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- On rainy days Roger Potter hates to look out his backdoor.

"I hate days like today when it is raining," said Potter. "Especially when it rains heavy."

Potter doesn't hate the rain, but before it stops raining he and his two other neighbors must face a recurring problem in their backyards -- flooding. 

"The area behind us is all water," he said. 

Their homes are in the Lexington Park community and adjacent to designated wetlands. Between the two is a conservation easement.

Potter said when they purchased their homes everything was okay with the wetlands behind their properties. 

"The city passed everything," he said.

But with the rainy season the wetlands have become a swamp and the water is running into their yards making a portion of it unusable. 

"My grandkids were here for the Summer and I could not allow them to play in the backyard," said Potter, "there are snakes and now the snakes are coming into the garage."

And he said all the problems -- snakes and flooded backyards -- are related to wetlands.

"We've been dealing with this for about six, seven months," he said.

The fence line in his neighbor's backyard is lower and the problem is clearer, standing water everywhere. Potter said the HOA tried to address the problem, but it is still there and that is adding to everyone's frustration. 

"My neighbor over there is affected but by not as much," said Potter. "When he is mowing his grass he can only go so far because of the water."

There has clearly been a sincere effort by the HOA to resolve the problem, the residents just want to know when will it be fixed.

"I want that drained out. I want my fence cleaned. I want my St. Augustine grass put back," said Potter. "Until that happen I want them to take out flood insurance for me."

Jennifer Hardin, HOA manager, said the area of concern belongs to the HOA and they're working on it, and the rain is not helping. 

"We've engaged the original engineer and contractor, and the general contractor will be back out this week," said Hardin.

"We've tried regrading, we may have to dig the swale deeper, we may have to install pipes to help with the flow," she said. "We don't know we may have to engage the city and the water management district, but we are not by any means ignoring the residents."

Hardin couldn't place a timeline but said they would like to resolve it as quickly as possible.


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