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Residents complain Ware’s Creek project didn’t fix everything

For many residents along Ware’s Creek, relief set in when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced in April the $52 million flood mitigation project was complete after years of work.

But some residents say more work is needed to protect their homes.

In a five-block stretch along 21st Street West between 12th and 17th avenues west, the creek was barely touched. It is the same area of the creek that suffered the worst of the flooding during Hurricane Hermine in September.

To the south of 17th Avenue West, the creek’s shorelines were widened and stabilized. The water flows through a high-banked channel capable of holding much more water than when the water rushes under the 17th Avenue bridge. From there, it rushes north toward the Manatee River into a low-banked, largely untouched area of the creek, a choke point during heavy rains that residents say is a perfect model for disaster.

Corps spokeswoman Amanda Parker said in September that the project was never meant to be flood-proof, especially for a rain event like Hermine.

Parker did not return a request for comment and since April has referred all questions to the city and Manatee County officials.