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DeLAND DELUGE: Storm floods local businesses, turns roads to rivers

Lake Georgia — Christopher Nives, left, and Robert Rogers take a break from helping a friend get her flooded car restarted to illustrate the depth of the stormwater backup in the 100 block of West Georgia Avenue following a deluge July 9. Trilogy Coffee Roasting Co. and a Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. storage facility in the building at left were flooded. DeLand Public Services Director Keith Riger said additional stormwater-system improvements are planned in the area in connection with the upcoming Georgia

Lake Georgia — Christopher Nives, left, and Robert Rogers take a break from helping a friend get her flooded car restarted to illustrate the depth of the stormwater backup in the 100 block of West Georgia Avenue following a deluge July 9. Trilogy Coffee Roasting Co. and a Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. storage facility in the building at left were flooded. DeLand Public Services Director Keith Riger said additional stormwater-system improvements are planned in the area in connection with the upcoming Georgia Avenue Streetscape project. However, Riger said, it will not be possible to complete those improvements in time to help during the 2017 rainy season.

BEACON PHOTO/BARB SHEPHERD

Lake Alabama — Those attending the Sunday-evening church service July 9 at Collective in Downtown DeLand found this scene at the corner of South Alabama and East Howry avenues as they headed home. Collective is located in the former DeLand Sun News building at 111 S. Alabama Ave.; a longtime Sun News staffer said she remembers the road flooding as far back as the early 1980s.

Lake Alabama — Those attending the Sunday-evening church service July 9 at Collective in Downtown DeLand found this scene at the corner of South Alabama and East Howry avenues as they headed home. Collective is located in the former DeLand Sun News building at 111 S. Alabama Ave.; a longtime Sun News staffer said she remembers the road flooding as far back as the early 1980s.

PHOTO BY BILL MCINTYRE

An intense thunder-and-lightning show soaked parts of West Volusia July 9, causing flooding and property damage.

Between 2 and 3.42 inches of rain fell between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., with the hardest rain in central and western DeLand, according to the National Weather Service and unofficial data from several local weather stations.

The rapid deluge left some streets looking like rivers and briefly knocked out power to some DeLand homes.

A weather station 1.3 miles west-southwest of DeLand recorded 3.42 inches of rain in the 24 hours from 7 a.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday, while a station 2 miles west of DeLand recorded 3.14 inches in the same time period. The DeLand Municipal Airport station recorded 2.12 inches.

The heaviest rain was localized in DeLand, with a station in Pierson only recording 0.71 inch and one near DeBary a paltry 0.10 inch.

The Sunday storm briefly flooded parts of West Georgia Avenue in DeLand, a street known for its drainage problems, causing minor damage to Trilogy Coffee Roasting Co., which closed Monday as its owners and employees cleaned up from the storm.

Owner Clay Cass reported the water was knee-deep in front of his coffee shop when he went to check during the storm’s height.

DeLand Public Services Director Keith Riger said Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co.’s storage facility, which shares with Trilogy the building at the corner of South Florida and West Georgia avenues, also flooded, along with Tony's Pizza at West New York and South Florida avenues, and the basement of Flagler Hall on the Stetson University campus.

“I had hoped that, given the improvements [to the city’s stormwater system] made in recent years, that some areas would have not flooded as badly, particularly around the New York/Florida and Georgia/Florida intersections, and at Howry and Alabama [avenues],” Riger said.

Still, he said, the stormwater system performed generally well throughout the city. All of the areas that did experience flooding have historically been flood-prone areas.

“All … have flooded in the past, although, by my recollection, not in the last several years,” Riger said. “I think the storm we experienced was unusually intense.”

The storm hit DeLand just as Collective Church, which sits at 111 S. Alabama Ave., between Howry and New York avenues, ended its Sunday-evening service.

The deluge kept churchgoers huddled under the church’s covered patio, waiting for the rain to pass. One of them reported that an inconsiderate motorist on Alabama Avenue plowed down the flooded street, sweeping a wave of water from the road under the church front door and soaking the floor about 10 feet into the church.

The church’s band had just ended the Sunday service with a rendition of “Rivers and Roads,” a song by indie folk band The Head and the Heart.


Goodbye, drought!

The return of wet, summery conditions has summarily beaten back drought conditions throughout the state.

During the first week of May, 84 percent of Florida was experiencing some kind of drought condition, according to the United States Drought Monitor, a weekly map of drought conditions produced jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

As of the second week of July, none of the Sunshine State is experiencing drought conditions.

 

- Anthony DeFeo, anthony@beacononlinenews.com

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