Cleaning up after south Tampa flooding

Heavily flooded roadways plagued south Tampa again on Sunday.  More rain caused road and business closures.

"We've been here eight years, and this is only the third time we've had this happen, but not this bad," said Elizabeth West, owner of Jazzercise off South Manhattan Avenue in Tampa.

West found flood waters had seeped through the door of her fitness center Saturday night, soaking the specialized studio flooring.

She and friends spent all day Sunday picking up the puzzled floor, piece-by-piece.

"It will be tedious. We pick it all up, we clean and disinfect the floor, then dry it off and put it back down. It's deep cleaning, so we're getting our cleaning done now instead of the fall," said West.

Barricades were removed from the Gandy Bridge Sunday morning, after flooding shut down the road overnight. Tampa Police and Department of Transportation crews had to close the road once again around 8:30 a.m. when another downpour caused flood waters to rush back in.

The city of Tampa provided free sandbags to residents to barricade their homes. Sandbags were given away at the Jackson Heights Community Center and the Tampa Solid Waste Facility, where a line of drivers sat for several minutes before being able to enter due to large crowds.

"We're going to put [the sandbags] in the front and behind our house to block the water," said Leonardo Amaya, a Ballast Point resident.

Amaya said flood water went beneath his home on Saturday and had nowhere to go due to the heavy rain, and it backed up the drainage system.

"The drainage on Russell Street in front of the elementary school is not working, so it's flooding. That water is coming all over, inside our houses," said Amaya.

He said he hopes the heavy rain will show county representatives areas of improvement needed in south Tampa.

Tampa Police advised drivers to stay off the roads if possible Sunday evening, with another round of heavy rainfall in the forecast during the late afternoon.

Tampa residents can report flooding issues to the city by calling 813-274-3101.