Gulf Breeze passes Halloween rain test

Bob Richards watched stormwater creep up the driveway toward his garage on Dracena Way in Gulf Breeze on the first Sunday in November and had visions of the record flooding on April 29-30, 2014.

Although the Halloween weekend rain, estimated at between 7 and 10 inches in Richards’ neighborhood, totaled less than half the deluge of the 500-year event in the spring of 2014, Richards said, “We were fearful. We’re still fearful.”

Richards’ house, where he has lived since 1973, endured flooding 18 months ago that left a water mark still evident at the 3-foot level of its brown brick exterior.

But Dracena Way, temporarily transformed into a river where some residents traveled with canoes and kayaks, now underscores the apparent success of nearly $2 million in new stormwater control infrastructure installed by the City of Gulf Breeze with money largely provided by a federal grant.

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