In 2014, Wilde Lake Boulevard in Escambia County was significantly damaged by flooding. FEMA recently started a project to help the neighborhood with future flooding, but heavy rain and flooding over the weekend brought a set back for the new crossing. Neighbors and the county planner said from here, it’s all about getting on track.
The area of Wilde Lake Blvd. gets 650 acres worth of water. The new crossing is 50 percent larger than the old, and the majority of the $1.5 million bill will be covered by FEMA. The project hit a major setback over the weekend when it flooded, knocking out the road around the project.
“My family has been struggling with this road ever since we moved here and it’s been a struggle to have it wash out,” said Rephesey Munoz, who lives past the project. “So were just happy to be finally getting to having a road back.”
The ‘Go-Around’ road has already been repaired, but Monday evening it was washed out by the flood waters, leaving neighbors stranded in their homes.
“It was pretty overwhelming to look at,” said Joy Blackmon, Escambia County Public Works Director. But, I could see all the workers with their heavy equipment on site, I knew they’d get it taken care of pretty quick. So I’m pretty proud of that.”
Now, the focus will go to the debris that’s piled up under the crossing.
“This is about as bad as it would get,” Blackmon said. “Fortunately, there are not homes in the path. So that is something… We’re very blessed.”
Neighbors thanked the contractors and workers for their quick action, and are excited for the project to get back on track and completed.
“We will have a bridge and hopefully it won’t wash out until the next 1,000-year flood comes around,” Munoz said.
County officials are not yet sure if the flooding will set back the estimated completion date of the project.