Why did one Gainesville street flood, damaging cars and a building?


After a quick and heavy rain storm on Monday, SW Sixth St. in Gainesville flooded, damaging cars and businesses.

“When I got there, I saw water just flooding in like a waterpark from the road,” said Michael Sholty, whose car was flooded outside his workplace. “The water was at a level where if I started my car, the intake would take in all of the water and total the car.”

Some experts are telling these employees their cars are totaled.

“There was this very far away feeling of, ‘yeah, that’s my car. I don’t know when I’m going to see that again,’” said Suzanne Richardson, whose car was flooded outside her workplace. “One of my coworkers, when they lifted her car to be towed, there was just water draining from it.”

Employees whose cars got flooded said the blame shouldn’t just be put on the weather.

They said they saw water rushing from the ground and they believe a pipe broke.

“It was not an unusually high amount of water that day,” Richardson said. “In fact that next day we had that same amount of water without that effect. So it was frustrating that the weather was being blamed instead of the incident.”

The city said it might look like a pipe burst, but they say that's not what happened.

Spokesman Chip Skinner says the temporary drainage system in place just couldn't handle that much water that quickly.

“When we have to shut off an actual drainage pipe, then the water does tend to back up then come up through the manholes and things of that nature,” Skinner said

The city says their contractors did nothing wrong and followed their plan. They say that plan will be changed in the future.

“The city is working with the contractor which it hired and looking at that storm water prevention plan,” Skinner said. “Amend that and get additional pumps in there so we don’t have future flooding issues if we have another one of those minor deluges.”

Work continues as normal at the local businesses but no employees dare to use the parking lot at this time.

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