Gulf Breeze City Manager Buz Eddy and other officials in the city were a little nervous this week. Thunderstorms were predicted to dumps several inches of rain onto an already saturated community. Eddy said "we were on the edge of our seats for awhile, but it wasn't enough to cause any problems". Still, a high water table and some areas still with standing water had the city preparing for the worst. And preparation is a hot topic in Gulf Breeze. The city has announced the formation of a storm water task force.
Eddy says the task force will study the status of the city's storm water infrastructure, look into the conditions that caused the flooding, listen to citizens about their issues and experiences during the flood, review the city's maintenance practices and then make recommendations back to the city council.
The task force will be a city of Gulf Breeze entity with no involvement from the state or county and will be made up of volunteers. Eddy said the eleven people that have been nominated to serve are both residents and business owners who had losses during the storm.
Eddy expects the task force will make both short and long term recommendations to the city. There is no time table set for the task force to complete its work and make those recommendations. Final approval on the formation and makeup of the group should happen at Monday's regular council meeting.
Meanwhile recovery from the floods continues. debris pick up has been going on throughout the city and many residents have applied for aid from FEMA representatives who are headquartered at the Gulf Breeze Community Center. City Manager Buz Eddy guesses that two to three hundred people from Gulf Breeze have applied for the assistance. And while things are beginning to return to normal, the city is taking no chances. There are still over a dozen temporary pumps set up around Gulf Breeze...and Eddy says they are not going anywhere anytime soon.