Water rises along Wares Creek near 12th Avenue bridge construction

jdeleon@bradenton.comApril 4, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Water rose along Wares Creek as a result of Thursday morning's downpours, causing residents to worry about their property and the construction of a bridge to halt.

Dams surrounding the 12th Avenue West bridge reconstruction project were broken by mid morning, and city officials were investigating whether they gave way to the rising waters or had to be broken to stop the flooding and allow water to flow.

"Me neighbors called me and told me water was rising up into my yard," said Wares Creek resident Jeff Newhall.

Newhall rushed home from work to discover that the water had in fact risen above 40 feet into his yard.

"I was worried about it getting into my garage," Newhall said.

In the past, Newhall says when the creek flooded water did make it into his garage and he was prepared to start moving his belongings.

Constructions workers were on site, however, and appeared to help alleviate the situation.

"I'm not sure what happen at this point," said Jim McLellan, city of Bradenton engineering manager.

Work had been moving along on the reconstruction of the bridge and two dams had been erected, allowing crews to keep water out to work.

Everything changes though when the rain starts pouring down.

"Typically the way the system is set up to work if the water rises above coffer dam then it will overflow and just flow down the creek," McLellan said.

City crews were sent out to evaluate the situation.

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