WINTER PARK, Fla. - Several businesses on Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park are worried officials aren’t doing enough to fix the drainage pipe on an old street where water is rising too high when it rains.
Some of the business owners said the flooding is causing them to lose business because no one wants to wade through the water, which is sometimes 8 to 10 inches high, to get inside the stores.
Brantley Smith owns a television repair shop that’s affected by the problem.
“What happens is when you have a really heavy downpour where a lot of water comes down all at once, that drain can’t assimilate fast enough, and it just backs up and comes into the building,” he said.
Smith shot video of the rain water pooling on part of the road and sidewalk and rushing inside the businesses.
“The pipe that carries the water away from the property is not big enough,” Smith said.
Employees at the five businesses affected have to put products up high, and they’re forced to use sandbags to keep the water out.
Fairbanks Avenue is a state road, and Florida Department of Transportation officials said the issue is on their radar.
They said the infrastructure is just too old and it would cost too much to fix the problem.
“It’s not ever going to get any better, but at some point, they will have to do it. As far as I’m concerned, the sooner the better,” Smith said.
FDOT officials said they have cleaned out the pipes and they appear to be working, but the pipes are having to deal with more water than they are meant to handle.
They said in order to fix it, it would need to be part of a bigger project.