Water-Related News

For one Lakeland community, flooding is common problem

Residents in one of Lakeland’s flood zones experienced Tropical Storm Emily more viscerally than most inlanders.

May Manor, a mobile-home community directly west of Lake Bonnet, is bisected by a canal that sits at the bottom of a topographical bowl. On either side of the canal is the largest inhabited high-risk flood zone in the city, according to FEMA maps.

City stormwater and public-works employees responded to the community Monday as the floodwaters crested the canal walls. The crews deployed large vacuum trucks that can clear out blockages in the storm-sewer system. There were no blockages, Lakes and Stormwater Manager Laurie Smith said. “It’s just basically a tremendous amount of runoff.”

The canal flows through the community and eventually to Lone Palm Golf Club. Though it is sometimes used as a relief valve to keep Lake Bonnet’s levels safe, the control gates have been closed, Smith said.