Yesterday, ECUA executive director Steve Sorrell blamed the raw sewage flowing on DeVilliers Street one block west of Pensacola City Hall on the failure of the City of Pensacola stormwater system. Inweekly reporter Duwayne Escobedo tried to get comment from City PIO Vernon Stewart.
Instead, the City posted on its Facebook page that Sorrell’s report was “inaccurate.”
You may or may have seen reports of breached manhole covers, raw sewage flooding the Tanyard area, and inaccurate reports of the City of Pensacola stormwater system failing.
These claims are incorrect. In fact, properly securing manhole covers is an ECUA function. The stormwater system did not fail. The system reached capacity and was overwhelmed due to the nine inches of rain in the last 48 hours. No stormwater system is expected to properly function under those extreme conditions.
Again, the downtown streets were flooded not because of a failed stormwater system. It was because we received nearly nine inches of rain in 48 hours.
The City did not explain why its 3-1-1 service failed to act in a timely matter or report the health hazard to the Escambia County Health Department and Tanyard residents.
Emerald Coastkeeper Laurie Murphy has called for the reinstitution of the joint city-county Storm Water Advisory Team (SWAT) to independently analyze the city’s stormwater issues without political interference.