Message From The Mayor
Our beautiful Palm Coast paradise got way too wet last fall. A hurricane and nor'easter dumped more than 30 inches of rain on us in such a short period of time. We all need to know that our City crews did a yeoman's job preventing floodwaters and wastewater from damaging our 35,000 households (see page four's article on Irma). For those of you who are new to Palm Coast, and also to remind everyone else, it's important for you to better understand how we cope with flooding in our community.
Swales serve as the core of our drainage system. Everything rain-related in Palm Coast begins with swales, those 'ditches' you see in your front yard that run parallel to your street. Swales keep stormwater from flooding the roads and your homes. They hold and slow the rain to allow it to soak into the ground and replenish the aquifer. They also clean the water's pollutants before it flows out to canals, the Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean.
Swales can usually hold several inches of rain during normal rainfall (up to around 12 inches in 24 hours). Because of all the rain this past fall, saturated conditions caused the system to back up first into our natural swamps and creeks and then into our streets. This is normal after a major rainfall - swale water is designed to back up into streets when necessary and not into our homes. Your street actually acts as a secondary drainage system. Both the swale and the streets drain pretty quickly once the rain stops.
We realize that street flooding is concerning and can be frightening during heavy rains. The City continues to maintain our drainage system to its designed capacity to help avoid structural flooding. Each year we replace pipes and water control structures and regrade ditches and swales. We have plans for additional stormwater capacity improvements in our neighborhoods.
If you're interested in a more detailed explanation of our drainage systems, please register to join Palm Coast's free Citizen's Academy class, offered three times a year. Drainage, city government, our local economy, utility systems, fire department, code enforcement, public works and finance are also covered. Go to www.palmcoastgov.com