Flood relief coming to Heritage Run subdivision

Savannah Vasquez
svasquez@thedestinlog.com
From left to right; Mayor Scott Fischer, Councilman Chatham Morgan, state Sen. Don Gaetz, Engineer of Record Scott Jenkins, state Rep. Matt Gaetz, City Manager Greg Kisela, City Engineer David Campbell and City Engineering Assistant Joe Bodi pose during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Heritage Run pump project.

Flood-prone subdivision Heritage Run is just 120 days from relief as the city hosted a groundbreaking on a new pump Thursday.

City staff, contracted engineers, state Sen. Don Gaetz and state Rep. Matt Gaetz gathered for the long-awaited event.

“We’re so excited the state of Florida was able to partner with the city of Destin to solve a problem in the Heritage Run community that was flooding homes and polluting the Choctawhatchee Bay,” said Matt Gaetz, who was instrumental in securing a state grant last year. “The state of Florida made a contribution of about a half a million dollars and the city of Destin put in hundreds of thousands on top of that, and now, once and for all, we will stop the flooding in Heritage Run and that in turn will lead to better water quality throughout our water-shed in Northwest Florida.”

Because the Heritage Run subdivision sits close in proximity to the Choctawhatchee Bay, during heavy rainstorms when the bay rises, the low-grade land collects the excess water. Although there is already a pump system in place in Heritage Run, it has proved inadequate for the amount of water the area receives.

The current pump relies on a gravity flow system with a tide gate that closes off the bay when storm water raises its water-level. When the tide gate is closed, water cannot be pumped back out of the subdivision and into the bay.

The city will actually be installing two new 55 horse-power pumps that will allow for water to be pumped out of the area while the tidal gate near the bay remains in place, said City Engineer David Campbell.

“Now we can shut it during a storm and still pump water around it into the bay,” said Campbell.

City Manager Greg Kisela added that over the years the city has attempted to solve the pump issue, but now it can rest at ease once and for all.

“This subdivision has had the unfortunate plague of flooding issues and the city has only been able to put a Band-Aid on it until the state stepped in with this grant,” he said. “Now if all goes well, by Labor Day, this project will be complete.”