Since the afternoon of Thursday,
June 24, the City of Largo has found itself receiving the
apparent heaviest rainfall totals in Pinellas County. Rain gauge
data indicates that central and southern sections of the City have received
in excess of 12 inches during this period. While several of the storms have
been traditional afternoon rain event storms moving along the border
of the sea-breeze, others have been of the "pop-up" variety
which sit in one location and rain until they rain themselves out.
These lingering storms appear to have been those contributing to the
heaviest rainfalls during the mid-day and afternoon periods.
How heavy have the rains been?
During a rain event Monday mid-day, the area around East Bay Drive and
Fulton received 1.37 inches of rain in 10 minutes, Whitney Road and
58th Street received over nine-tenths of an inch in under
an hour, and between 3:45 and 3:55 p.m. on Monday, Starkey Road and
Ulmerton received 1.5 inches in that same 10 minutes. Also receiving
heavy rain were 150th and 66th Street which at
12:30 received just under one inch of rainfall in under 10 minutes.
Since late Thursday night the area around 66th Street and
Ulmerton has received in excess of 12.5 inches of rain, much of it in
heavy downpour events. Since the rain began, Fulton and East Bay
has received over 10 inches, Walsingham and 131st Street
more than 8 inches.
The City of Largo Public Works
Department explains that while localized street flooding did occur during
these rains, there have been no documented cases of blockages or pipe
collapses being at fault. The water has receded once the rains
slowed down and the standing water appears to be the result of the rain
falling faster than it can flow off with gravity. The Department
has surveyed the City maintained drainage systems repeatedly since this
rain system began last week, and plans to continue to do so as long
as this weather pattern persists.
Residents can help by ensuring
that drainage inlets, ditches, or swales in their yards or the street
in front of their yards are kept clear of debris. It has been
a few years since this type of continual, daily heavy rain has been
experienced in the Largo area. Unfortunately, once the ground
becomes saturated with moisture and cannot absorb any more, new rain
water has no option except to run off into drainage systems at a faster
rate. With weather forecasts calling for more rain through the
end of the week, the City sees the continued possibility of localized
flooding as heavier rainfall periods occur.