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Flooding concerns rise amid intensifying impacts of rainstorms

Longboat Key residents and town officials say flood mitigation projects should be at the forefront as flooding issues grow.

Longboat Key residents are familiar with flooding during severe weather. But recently, residents and officials have taken notice of the growing intensity of flooding during less intense, unnamed storms.

Public comment at the Jan. 8 Town Commission meeting included residents Rusty Chinnis and Jim Whitman speaking about how they and their neighbors are growing concerned with the flooding happening during minor rainfall events.

Chinnis pointed to a recent rainstorm that drenched the Key for just an hour but left much of the Village flooded.

He said the flooding in lower areas of the island is a growing threat.

“I’ve lived in the village now in my house for almost 40 years,” Chinnis said. “My garage has been flooded four times. Two of those were in the last three months.”

Commissioner-at-Large BJ Bishop shared similar opinions and anecdotes, saying she went from 10 years of no water in the house to three water intrusions in five months.

Whitman said he believes this issue should be raised to a higher priority for the commission.