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34 Homes Report Damage in Latest Flooding Totals as Rain Resumes; Graham Swamp Overflows

| September 29, 2014

Familiar Palm Coast sight. (© FlaglerLive)

Familiar Palm Coast sight. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 9:01 p.m.

After 36 hours of calm and dry conditions in Palm Coast and Flagler, rain started falling again, heavily in much of Palm Coast, even as swales and ditches had not had time enough to soak up the weekend’s flood-producing downpours. Today’s rain is expected to continue through evening.

Flagler County Emergency Management reports this afternoon that residents reported some kind of damage to 34 homes or structures, a larger number than reported over the weekend. In addition, six people reported damage to their vehicle. But no one has had to evacuate a single home despite damage. (An earlier version of this story had reported EOC’s first estimate of 56 damaged homes and nine damaged vehicles. EOC corrected those figures the next day.)

Tonight, after more ran kept falling much of the afternoon and evening, Graham Swamp was overflowing its banks and sending enough water onto Old Kings Road to reduce that road to one lane. As a precaution, and because more rain was in the forecast overnight, Old Kings Road was being shut down around 8:30 p.m. at Oak Trails on the north end (by the entrance to the Woodlands), all the way to Town Center Boulevard. Traffic is being rerouted at either end.

The National Weather Service had issued a flood advisory, in effect until 1:30 p.m., for Palm Coast, Bunnell, Flagler Beach and the rest of Flagler County, and a flood watch had been in effect through this evening. It was later extended to 5 a.m. Tuesday as more rain was expected overnight. A coastal flood advisory is also in effect.

Damage reports have been concentrated in the W and B Sections.

“The major concentration is obviously in the B and W Sections, but also have a few reports in the S and L Sections,” Jennifer Stagg of Flagler County Emergency Management said during a conference call at 4:15 p.n. “We have had some reports of damage to docks and gazebos but not actual homes.”

“The only thing close to structural damage is we did have a tree fall on a vehicle and totaled out the vehicle,” Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said.

There could be 2 to 3 more inches today and 2 to 3 inches on Tuesday. “However, National Weather Service in Jacksonville reported today that right behind this is another frontal system that should be hitting us next weekend,” Gutrhrie said.

Emergency operations have been in contact with the agricultural extension office. “They’re reporting to us that as of this time the agricultural impacts have been minimal,” Guthrie said.

The Palm Coast and county wastewater systems have been handling the excess capacity, Guthrie said, and are prepared to do so continuously despite additional rain–unless another major rain event takes place, as it did on Friday evening and Saturday morning. “There’s no system in the United States that can handle 9 to 13 inches of rain in one hour,” Guthrie said.

At noon Monday, National Weather Service doppler radar was indicating heavy rain from a slow-moving system from the west, likely to produce 1 to 2 inch rainfall on top of already saturated ground, “which will likely aggravate already flooded conditions in low lying areas along with enhance ponding of water on roadways through the early afternoon hours,” the weather service statement said.

The broader advisory cautions against locally heavy downpours that may exceed 3 inches, along with thunderstorms. The flood watch means that the potential for flooding is there, and residents should monitor emergency services, weather and news reports for possible upgrades to flood warnings, when actual flooding is imminent or observed.

Guthrie said that the message of “resounding importance” of the last few days is that flood insurance is a must for homeowners. Many people have called in to emergency operations to complain that they have no flood insurance to cover damages. “Well, that’s one of those areas where there’s not a whole lot we can do to help out that homeowner,” Guthrie said. Emergency management plans a broader campaign to encourage homeowner flood insurance, once the string of storms calms down.

Just after noon today Bob Pickering, Flagler County Emergency Management’s weather specialist, issued an updated rainfall total for the weekend, confirming that the maximum rainfall was recorded in the heart of Palm Coast, and exceeded 15 inches. That total was 16.20 inches at Palm Coast Parkway and Belle Terre Parkway.

The totals are as follows:

Amount / Location / Source / Notes
2.40” / Bunnell / Flagler EOC / 0800hrs 9/29/2014
6.00” / Wheeling Lane Palm Coast / Skywarn / 0800hrs 9/29/2014
5.00” / Crompton Pl – Palm Coast / Skywarn / 1550hrs 9/28/2014
6.00” / Woodcliff Ln – Palm Coast / Skywarn / 1236hrs 9/28/2014
2.14” / Eagle Rock Estates / Skywarn / 1145hrs 9/28/2014
6.59” / Country Club Cove / Skywarn / 1120hrs 9/28/2014
16.20” / WtP 1 Corp Dr, Palm Coast / City of Palm Coast / 0600hrs 9/28/2014
2.90” / WtP 2 Citation Dr Palm Coast / City of Palm Coast / 0600hrs 9/28/2014
11.85” / WtP 3 Peavee Grade Palm Coast / City of Palm Coast / 0600hrs 9/28/2014
1.87” / Flagler Beach / Skywarn / 0847hrs 9/28/2014
7.05” / Northeast Palm Coast Canals / Skywarn / 0841hrs 9/28/2014
10.44” / Farmsworth Ln Palm Coast / Skywarn / 1759hrs 9/27/2014
3.64” / Lehigh Woods Palm Coast / Skywarn / 0850hrs 9/27/2014
9.08” / Clubfield Dr Palm Coast / Skywarn / 0844hrs 9/27/2014
9.68” / 22 Barrington Drive Palm Coast / Skywarn / 0003hrs / 9/27/2014

The following roads remain closed:

Flagler County – Hargrove Grade-Otis Stone to Hargrove at the rail road tracks.
Flagler County – Otis Stone Hunter from US Highway 1 to Main Street.

The following parks and programs are closed or cancelled:

The City of Palm Coast’s Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool is closed today (Monday, Sept. 29).
The Palm Coast Tennis Center is closed today.
The Palm Harbor Golf Club is closed today.
The Palm Coast Citizens Academy for today is canceled.

Please report any and all damage that may be associated with this recent storm to the Flagler County Emergency Operations Center at 386-313-4200.

To report traffic issues and impassable streets, or for other concerns and non-emergencies in the City of Palm Coast, call Customer Service at 396-986-2360 during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or call 386-313-4911 after regular business hours. The City of Palm Coast is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through those two telephone numbers.

Sandbags: The City of Palm Coat has free sandbags and a sand station at the Public Works yard, located at 1 Wellfield Grade, Palm Coast. These are available at any time. Free sandbags are also available during business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at Palm Coast City Offices, 160 Cypress Point Parkway Suite B-106, and at Palm Coast Utility Offices, 2 Utility Drive.

In addition to the sand station at the Palm Coast Public Works yard, residents who already have sandbags can get sand for their sandbags at stations at Holland Park, Indian Trails Sports Complex and Seminole Woods Park. This is self-service.

Bob Pickering got a few questions few questions about other rain-related events in Flagler County. He provided the following list for the last five years. The most extreme event was on October 11, 1989, when stationary thunderstorms dumped over 16” of rain in one day in Palm Coast. This caused flooding, stalled vehicles and road closures. However due to the drought that year, once rain ended the water drained off fairly quickly. Numbers from more recent events:

Rain Totals from 4/28/2013 to 5/4/2013

Amount / Location / Source / Notes

9.67” / Bunnell / Flagler EOC

9.75” / Daytona North – Mondex / Skywarn

10.65” / Flagler Beach / Skywarn

9.28” / West Palm Coast / Skywarn / Lehigh Woods

10.40” / NW Palm Coast / Skywarn / 2.20” occurred in one hour during “supercell storm” as it died overhead.

8.07” / East Palm Coast / Skywarn / Palm Harbor

9.01” / NE Palm Coast / Skywarn / Palm Harbor, In the canal section

13.75” / Bulow / Public Works


Rainfall 10/8/2012 storm totals

Amount / Location / Source / Notes

0.60” / East Bunnell / Flagler EOC /

4.00” / NW Palm Coast / Skywarn / Pine lakes Pkwy & Belle Terre N.

4.02” / NW Palm Coast / Skywarn / Street flooding in area – Burchwood Dr.

3.66” / NW Palm Coast / Skywarn / Road under water – Barrington Dr.

2.90” / East Central Palm Coast / FCES Staff /

0.12” / Flagler Beach / Skywarn

1.55” / East Palm Coast / Skywarn

1.71” / Northeast Palm Coast / Skywarn

5.90” / Northwest Palm Coast / WFTV / Weather Watcher for WFTV relayed by Tom Terry.

2.84” / North Palm Coast / Skywarn

4.00” / County Fairgrounds / Ag Ext Office / Some flooding in the building.

3.50” / Central Palm Coast / Skywarn


Rainfall Reports 10/7-10/2011

Amount / Location / Source / Notes

4.22” / Bunnell / Flagler EOC / Storm Total 10/7-10/2011 0800

2.21” / County Airport / Airport Staff  / Storm Total 10/7-10/2011 0800

4.57” / Flagler Beach / Skywarn / Storm Total 10/7-10/2011 0800

4.50” / Ag Center / Ag Center Staff / Storm Total 10/7-10/2011 0800

4.32” / Northwest Palm Coast / Skywarn  / Storm Total 10/7-10/2011 0800

4.00” / South Central Palm Coast / Skywarn / Storm Total 10/7-10/2011 0800

2.55” / North Palm Coast / Skywarn / Storm Total 10/7-10/2011 0800

2.52” / East Palm Coast / Skywarn / Storm Total 10/7-10/2011 0800

6.10” / East Palm Coast / Skywarn / Storm Total 10/7-10/2011 0800

7.10” / Central Palm Coast / Skywarn / Storm Total 10/7-10/2011 0800


Rainfall Reports 5/17-24/09 as of 0800hrs Storm Totals FINAL:

Amount / Location / Source / Notes:

21.70” / Bunnell / Flagler EOC

17.80” / North Palm Coast / ARES / North “F” section – Includes Sunday Rain

27.50” / County Fairgrounds / U of F Ag Agent

15.58” / Northeast Palm Coast / Skywarn / Retired TV Meteorologist

20.00” / South Central Palm Coast / EOC Staff / P section

21.50” / South Flagler Beach / Skywarn

17.50” / East Palm Coast / ARES-REACT / C section of PC

31.00” / Downtown Bunnell / School Staff /

20.75” / Town Center Palm Coast / Town Center / East of Bunnell

20.10” / Palm Coast / City of Palm Coast / Water Plant # 1 Corp. Drive

23.30” / Palm Coast / City of Palm Coast / Water Plant # 2 Citation Drive

18.22” / North Flagler Beach / ARES-REACT

25.70” / Haw Creek / CERT

21.50” / Northwest Palm Coast / REACT / Indian Trails Section North

21.90” / Northwest Palm Coast / ARES-REACT / Pine Lake Apartments

19.71” / Flagler County Airport / Airport Staff

18.20” / Southeast Palm Coast / ARES-REACT

18.25” / East Palm Coast / Skywarn / C section of PC



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9 Responses for “34 Homes Report Damage in Latest Flooding Totals as Rain Resumes; Graham Swamp Overflows”

  1. Groot says:

    Too much asphalt and too many home and lawns and not enough well maintained drainage. If ever there was a time for a residential building ban, this is it. Two and a half to three feet of water in my street is not acceptable. The infrastructure needs to catch up with the sprawl.

    • Jason Driggs says:

      Any city will flood if there is enough rain in a short enough amount of time. Overall, I think our city’s infrastructure held up well. Also, I think we have been under an economy imposed building ban since about 2007, so where exactly are you seeing all this residential building? Sprawl??

      I think your beef should be with mother nature, not the city. “Flood definition: A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land which is usually dry.” The city didn’t cause the flood, the incessant rain falling from the clouds did. Driving around earlier today it appeared many areas that were underwater had already completely dried up as the water flowed away. The problem is denial. People think floods only happen in other places. So when we have one it obviously must be someone’s fault. Try to visualize how many hundreds of millions of gallons of water must have fallen from the skies! Of course there will be street flooding!

      Seriously though, to those whose streets were flooded during this event:

      Remember this flood the next time a tropical storm or hurricane approaches! Now you already know your street is going to fill up with water during a prolonged rain. Are you going to evacuate in advance, and if not, do you have enough provisions for being “stuck” in your house (possibly with flood waters inside the house) for more than a week, unable to drive anywhere? You can call the city 1,000 times to complain but only mother nature is going to gradually deal with all that water.

  2. NortonSmitty says:

    Did you hear the joke about the guy who bought swampland in Florida?

  3. My thoughts says:

    The City of Palm Coast, which maintains the drainage infrastructure has not commented. Remember the price hike we got a few years ago for the stormwater utility?

    The City Engineering Department should be out in the field throughout this event so they understand the drainage system response.

    Groot, you are correct in your comments – the impervious lot coverage has been exceeding the basis of the stormwater design. I seem to recall that the lot coverage in the drainage plans was 40% but what is being built exceeds that – some lots appear to be 60%+

  4. Merrill says:

    For the miles and miles of drainage swales and canals that did work well, we must all give thanks to those who work so hard to maintain them! All of our hearts go out to those who have been flooded….and it is no fun! But it would have been worse without the efforts of a lot of good people!

  5. Steelers Stink says:

    I just saw an armadillo with a pirate hat on sitting on a log floating down my street. I swear he has an eye patch on and was wearing a Tampa Bay jersey….Strange !!!

  6. Watchdog says:

    The biggest joke was Belle Terre irrigation was on and running while torrential rains poured down…adding to already dangerous street conditions…..gotta love this City

  7. Michael says:

    Next time a realator tells you its a fresh water canal, tell them no its a drainage ditch

  8. HorseWith Aname says:

    This cities structure is flawed when it comes to drainage. Coupled with this silly sewer system there is no mystery here as to why it floods. The ground can only saturate so much. As our street flooded and then the yards , well go figure the sewer lights started coming on, I wonder if it backed up into peoples houses?

    Instead of these sorry drainage ditches, you should have what most other cities have stormwater drainage systems. You know pipes and grates.

    These hybrid septic/sewer tanks that palm coast uses have been having me scratching my head since moving here. I get it it reduces the amount of liquid sent to the treatment plant, well atleast until the torrential rains come and the ground saturates forcing more wastewater into the sewer system that would normally be handled by a stormwater system. Thats what we called a flawed design concept.

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