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Escambia Co Commissioner want to create a "Storm Task Force"
ESCAMBIA COUNTY - Escambia Commissioner, Gene Valentino wants to establish a storm water task force. This comes as the county is working to recover from the recent flood in April.
Escambia County officials estimate that more than 3200 hundred homes and businesses were damaged. Valentino says if the task force becomes a reality it would study the impact of excess water runoff after a big storm.
Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino says "doing nothing is not an option" when it comes to the county's storm water.
The commissioner feels the rain storm on April 29th, exposed many drainage problems in the county's storm water drainage system.
Valentino says the current system can't keep up with growing development.
A storm water task force, made up of engineers and scientists, is an option the county should seriously consider.
Some Escambia County residents agree.
"I know a lot of people that lost a lot of stuff, and something needs to be done" said Sidney Ashley, Escambia County Resident
"We were in seriously bad shape, and it seemed like there was really nowhere for the storm water to go" said Jim Schaffer, Escambia County resident.
Commissioner Valentino says the need for a task force goes beyond the recent flooding.
Remember a couple years ago, this Burger King off Highway 29 flooded out in a similar rain storm.
Doctor Matthew Schwartz at UWF studies environmental science.
He was shocked by how much the storm water system failed during the flooding event.
"These are systems that were designed decades ago and our demands on them are changing" said Dr. Matthew Schwarts, UWF Environmental Science.
Doctor Schwartz feels the task force should look at the current storm water system design.
They should also consider the environmental and economic impact of storm water flow.
"Is the water going where we want it to? What are the implications of that water when it overflows these systems as storm water systems are designed to do" said Dr. Schwarts.
Valentino expects the task force study to last 3 months to a year, and cost millions of dollars.
The Commissioner plans to discuss his proposed storm water task force in more detail at the next committee of the whole meeting.