ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. — Just a few days of steady rain will turn some Anna Maria Island roads into ponds.
- System already completed in a few of the island's roadways
- Area routinely deals with flooding issues
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It has been happening for years. Many of the problem areas are in the streets around Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach and Marina Drive in Holmes Beach.
That was the case on Wednesday in many spots, including Avenue B in Bradenton Beach, which was under a couple inches of water despite mostly dry skies.
Ed Straight runs his animal rescue, Wildlife Inc., out of a home on Avenue B. He has lived there since 1973 and says the flooded roadway outside of his house has only gotten worse over the years.
"It floods every time we have a heavy rain quite frankly. Maybe 10 times a year or more," he said. "It's very inconvenient when we have as many things as we do come through here all the time."
A project that's spanning Anna Maria Island is aiming to change that. The cities are working to implement water infiltration systems in order to reduce flooding. The system has already been completed in a few of the island's roadways and this summer they plan to break into the ground and begin more.
"We've gone in and are systematically removing those compact, confining, muck and clay layers and are replacing that with good clean materials like stone. And that's allowing the water to pass back through," said Lynn Burnett, city engineer for Holmes Beach and Brandenton Beach.
Officials plans to use money recently allocated from the state to complete the project.