Putting Florence under the pump

Saturated ground water table creates 2.5 million gallon "lake" near Willow Loop

Continuing heavy rains have left Florence with one more "lake," according to City of Florence Public Works Director Mike Miller.
   Miller said the more than 30 inches of rain that have fallen so far this year have created a 7.5 acre "lake" on the east side of Willow Loop.
   "That area, which has always been a wetlands between the east end of 16th, 17th and 18th streets and Three Rivers Casino Resort, has now become more of a seasonal lake," Miller said. "The same thing happened back in 1996, during that very wet season." February has had more than 20 inches of rain, almost tripling the month's historical average rain-fall .
   Miller said the constant rain has super-saturated the soil, bringing the water table up to the surface in several areas of Florence.
   "Think of it as a sponge," Miller said. "The sponge is very full and until you have that relief, it won't take any more water. That is why we have that ponding effect."
   Public works has set up a pump to discharge water from the flooded area into Munsel Creek.
   "There is one home that has a garage that water has gotten into. The pump has been running since Tuesday evening," Miller said.
   He estimated the amount of water that needs to be pumped out is approximately 2.5 million gallons.
   According to Miller, the pump is rated at 350 gallons per minute. It is currently pumping 250 gallons per minute. He estimates it will take about 120 hours to bring the water level down by one foot.
   "It takes time, but nature is helping out. We have seen some weather improvement and the water level is receding ," Miller said Thursday.
   With additional snow and rain forecasted throughout the weekend, additional flooding could be likely.

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