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Dredging, pumping and channeling: Flood prevention work in store for Aquatic Gardens

Posted on August 8, 2022

Despite a quiet hurricane season so far, leaders in Atlantic Beach want to make sure some of the most flood-prone neighborhoods are protected.

“The part of town that became Aquatic Gardens is lower than the other parts of town,” said Atlantic Beach City Commissioner Candace Kelly.

Being low comes with one big hazard – flooding.

Keeping water out of folks homes when hurricanes hit, has become a top priority for the Atlantic Beach City Commission.

“I think we’re all being plagued by the same things,” said Kelly. “We have very flat terrain. When things drain, they drain slowly.”

To speed the process up, the Atlantic Beach City Commission just applied for some money from FEMA to do a few things in Aquatic Gardens.

Number one – Dredge the main pond, so it can hold more water, and add a pumping station, so it can be pumped down before a major storm.

Number two –  Add a wider culvert to help Hopkins Creek drain a little better to keep Aquatic Drive from flooding.

Number three – Widen the ditch between Cutlass Drive and Plaza.

The pond feeds into Hopkins Creek, which funnels a 340 acre drainage basin, impacting hundreds of homeowners.

The city commission initially discussed adding a new outfall into the intracoastal, but Commissioner Kelly says that’s not going to work.

“By 2030, the state has mandated that we will no longer be able to discharge water into the intracoastal,” said Kelly.

Meeting that new standard will take a lot of work over the next decade.

For now, the focus is on getting the FEMA grant approved by the end of the year, so work can begin in Aquatic Gardens and folks won’t have to hold their breath when a big storm is brewing.


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