One might think that in an area like Tampa, Florida, where a daily rainfall of a couple of inches (or more) is not uncommon, that there would be some kind of citywide drainage system that would be able to get rid of all the water and not let it flood important city streets. Sadly, that is not the case. Despite a known and fairly consistent problem (large amounts of water from heavy rainfall), the city of Tampa seems spectacularly unprepared.
Today a rainfall of about 2.5″ fell on the city of Tampa, leading many streets flooded with surface water and causing a lot of serious problems. Such a rainfall is not even close to the worst rainfall I have seen (which was a day of about 9″ of rain, which flooded many of Tampa’s streets and cut of transportation for large parts of the city for several days on the surface streets). It seems as if the city of Tampa, despite a semi-tropical humid climate, is unprepared for rain and cannot handle the waters.
There are several ways that waters could be dealt with. One particularly charming solution would be to turn large parts of Tampa (which is, for the most part, a fairly flat city) into something approaching Venice, a city of canals. Ironically enough the state of Florida has a canal system to help mitigate hurricane flooding that for some inconceivable reason does not include Tampa Bay . Even such canals as are present really aren’t very well drained.
It does not seem too unreasonable to expect that a city with a known and omnipresent risk of flooding from tropical storms and even routine thunderstorms would prepare for them in some fashion, and yet this area seems spectacularly uninterested in even basic infrastructure improvements regarding water drainage. Why is that? Are the people who run this city and this area that undiscerning?