Gateway Sun

A heavy storm that lasted several days in Southwest Florida brought plenty of rain to Gateway. Unfortuately, Lee County’s “Rain Guage” data collector in Gateway wasn’t functioning for 2 days, so we’ll never know exactly how much water fell from the sky.

We do know, however, that there was plenty of water still left on the ground in Stoneybrook, the Villages of Stoneybrook and Hampton Park when there should not have been. Forecasts which indicated there would be more rain on August 28 turned out to be wrong, and as a result the water completely receded nearly everywhere in Gateway except for parts of those communities.

On Astor Place in Hampton Park there was a section of roadway with a foot of water, despite the fact that if you looked just 30 yards down the street the road was completely dry.

Stoneybrook was essentially turned in to a lake in some areas of that community. Pictures shared with the Gateway Sun showed water over half way up people’s driveways in some spots.

This has some residents questioning what went wrong and what will happen if an even larger storm hits the area.

Sorting out the issues in Stoneybrook will fall on the Gateway Services District, while fixing Hampton Park’s issues will fall on Lennar’s shoulders.

break-line

Half of the people who live in the Stoneybrook community are actually GSCDD Supervisors, so it’s safe to say the district staff will be under some pressure to find out what went wrong there. I know the staff is really busy right now so I haven’t asked them myself, but I will reach out to them later this week.

As for Hampton Park? Those residents must turn to Lennar for answers, and a fix.

Good luck with that.

I had to drive through these communities for work, so I did see it first hand and it was surprising. The picture accompanying this article is one I took myself on Astor Place. The Villages of Stoneybrook also had plenty of water left-over too, however I don’t know if that’s connected to the issues in Stoneybrook or not.

But I circle back to how fortunate we were that it wasn’t worse. And I’ll double down and add that this was an excellent “test” of the system to identify a couple of obvious weak areas that can be resolved going forward.

The rest of Gateway was in good shape by yesterday afternoon with all the water pretty well gone. So the system functioned properly under the circumstances for 80% of the community. But if you live in the other 20% that had flooding, you sure as hell want your area to be sorted out — pronto.

Obviously we can only speculate what would happen in Gateway if a hurricane came through the area, but it’s safe to say that all bets would be off in that scenario. I know I’ll be evacuating, and this storm may save my life one day because I probably would have chosen to ride out a hurricane — until I saw what I just saw these past few days.

As mentioned above, we have no real way of knowing how much fell in Gateway but Lee County’s rain data showed that almost exactly 1 foot of rain fell on Fort Myers Beach. It sure seems like we got that much rain fall, as well.

UPDATE: One unofficial recording from the Walden Lakes area showed that 14.73″ of rain fell since August 24.

About Jeff Kuntz

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Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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