Make your voice heard

Flooding In Perdido Estates

Demand a solution to drainage problems in Escambia’s Perdido Estates neighborhood

The Flood Problem

location-pin PERDIDO ESTATES

Escambia County’s Perdido Estates neighborhood isn’t in a floodplain. With effective stormwater infrastructure and maintenance, the neighborhood shouldn’t have flood problems. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Even small rain events can make county roads in the neighborhood impassible, and major events bring multiple feet of flooding.

Flood problems in Perdido Estates are a result of two infrastructure failures:

  1. The neighborhood’s stormwater ponds - one in the middle of Terra Lake Circle and the other on the neighborhood’s north side - are still owned by the original developer. Poor maintenance has put them in violation of County Code, and has created compliance issues with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. More importantly, poorly maintained ponds don’t work. Their dysfunction contributes to road flooding in the neighborhood, preventing residents from leaving their driveways.

  2. Stormwater pipes on the neighborhood’s east side were installed improperly during construction. Pipe joints were fitted improperly, resulting in saturated soils causing sinkholes in residents’ yards. Tree roots have now clogged the pipes.

Flooding caused by the dysfunctional ponds and improperly installed pipes puts residents at risk. Additionally, it deteriorates the county-owned road running through the neighborhood; the road has had to be resurfaced three times since 1997. That’s bad for local taxpayers. The county can address the problem by taking ownership of the privately-owned ponds and bringing them up to code, and by repairing the improperly installed stormwater pipes.


Meet our Neighborhood Leaders: Chuck Gardner & Tom Rudd

Chuck Gardner and Tom Rudd were excited to buy homes in Perdido Estates - they didn’t expect roads to be underwater, let alone their living rooms. They’re tired of flooding, so they’ve joined Flood Defenders to do something about it.

"I’ve lived in Perdido Estates for close to 18 years and have been fighting with Escambia County over the flooding since day one. The county needs to address the incorrectly installed “permitted” storm drain pipes."

Tom Rudd

Milestone 1

The county assumes ownership of private stormwater ponds and drainage easements

What We're Working on Now

When Perdido Estates was built, Florida state codes allowed stormwater ponds to remain under developer control even after completion of construction and sale of homes. That rule has been changed, and Florida now requires ponds be handed over to local municipalities or a defined homeowners association upon development completion. 

While the developer of Perdido Estates is legally allowed to own the ponds through grandfathering under an old regulation, they have failed to maintain the ponds. That’s a violation of Escambia County ordinances requiring ponds to be maintained properly.

County government can address both the dispute between the developer, neighborhood, and FDEP and the maintenance issues in one fell swoop by taking ownership of the ponds. This has been done before (reminder: Escambia owns over 700 ponds) and is a simple process.

Send a letter to Commissioner Doug Underhill below asking the county to take ownership of Perdido Estates’ stormwater ponds. We've provided an email below, but you can customize it by adding your own experiences or uploading a photo of flood damage at your house or street.


Milestone 2

County brings stormwater ponds into compliance with maintenance standards

What We'll Do Next

Once Escambia owns the stormwater ponds in Perdido Estates, the county should move quickly to rehabilitate them, bringing them into compliance with county and state standards and boosting their effectiveness as flood control infrastructure. Both ponds badly need essential maintenance. Additionally, the northern pond will need improved access to meet state standards - this can be done using existing private easements or by creating new ones.

County officials should prioritize the rehabilitation of the ponds by completing basic maintenance, moving the project into planning and design with county staff, and requesting permits from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). Then the county will need to complete construction on new access points to meet state standards. We’ll help keep the County on track to make this happen.

incomplete circle

Milestone 3

County replaces failed stormwater pipes at the east end of the neighborhood

What We'll Do Next

A well-intentioned stormwater project on Perdido Estates’ east side went wrong when a contractor shortcut installation of pipes. They used pipes with no real connection - essentially just forcing pipe ends as close together as possible without a concrete collar to connect them. Inevitably, this strategy failed, and soil and tree roots began to make their way into the pipes.

The leaks kept stormwater from actually making its way out of the neighborhood and produced yard depressions at every faulty pipe connection, and the clogs pushed water up into the neighborhood’s county road. While county staff didn’t create this problem, it occurred on the county’s watch, and it should be fixed. Addressing the issue will help keep homeowners from flooding, and will protect the county road in the neighborhood.

We’ll push county officials to Perdido Estates to properly install stormwater pipes to fix the issue and maintain them in the future.

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