While some areas of Manatee County endured flooding during Tropical Storm Colin, Ware’s Creek withstood sporadic heavy downpours from the storm.
A Ware’s Creek project suffered several delays with contractor issues and left residents frustrated and trapped within construction zones for two years, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the end result is positive.
It’s a little premature to celebrate. This was not a real test at all.
Mary Alta Griffin, Ware’s Creek resident
“Tropical Storm Colin gave us the perfect opportunity to find out how well this project would respond to a significant rain event,” said project manager Laura Reichold. “We are pleased with the results and the flood protection it provided to the local community.”
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With more than 4 inches of rain reported over two days June 6-7, no local flooding was reported along the creek. Flows fluctuated between 3 and 5 feet and was considered significant, but poststorm inspection by the Corps showed no evidence of flooding or damage to the banks.
“This should give residents peace of mind that the project is ready to tackle the next storm event and those to come,” said Reichold
Residents aren’t necessarily feeling the “peace of mind” yet.
“It’s a little premature to celebrate,” said longtime resident Mary Alta Griffin. “This was not a real test at all.”
Griffin said the creek held up well but the storm wasn’t significant enough to consider it a real test.
“Let’s don’t brag just yet,” she said. “I did not see the top of the creek, but we didn’t really get the brunt of it. There was a storm last month that dumped a lot rain in a short time and I could see the top of the creek from my window. The key is how much rain in a short amount of time.”
Griffin said the creek does look beautiful, but long construction delays left areas in need of remediation.
The Corps has turned over maintenance to Manatee County. Griffin said a county worker showed up more than a month ago to inform residents maintenance work would begin, “but they never came back.”
The Corps expressed confidence the creek will stand up to more significant storms, but acknowledged Tropical Storm Colin was not a major event.
“Although Tropical Storm Colin represents less than a one-year flood event, the project functioned and operated without impact from the storm,” said Reichold.