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Lake Charlene drainage improvement project

Escambia County's drainage system was overwhelmed last month, when as much as 25 inches of rain fell in just a few hours.
County leaders are aware of the system's short comings.They have more than 40 drainage improvement projects in some stage of development.  One of those projects is at Lake Charlene, an area that was heavily damaged during the flood.

There's still debris in some yards here at Lake Charlene.
But for the most part, people are trying to get back to their normal schedules.

There's still some anxiety here though, people are worried the neighborhood may flood again.

Cindy Legidakes is working day and night, cleaning her home and getting it ready for contractors.

It's been a long and emotional process. She still remembers the night of the flood, having to swim out of her home in the middle of the night.

"For my children and my dogs and my family, having to swim out, I'm furious. They've been told about this, they know about this and they're not taking care of the problem," said Legidakes.
This is the second time she's seen flooding in this neighborhood. A few years ago, water covered her yard but didn't quite reach her home.

That event prompted her to get flood insurance.
The Legisdakes family hopes they never have to do this again.
Her story is all too common, especially here at Lake Charlene.

Most residents are still cleaning up their homes, and trying to start over.
Gina Nolan's home is right next to this standing water, that seems to still be flowing
"Is it gonna get in my house?" asked Nolan.
 The drainage project is  an outfall ditch paving project and will improve stormwater flow. It's been under construction since before the flood.
Commissioner Gene Valentino says it's part of a bigger picture. Lake Charlene is one of hundreds of areas in the county with water problems and Valentino says, there needs to be an overall plan to prevent this from happening again.

We don't know when the drainage project will be completed, but residents hope it's soon.