Tampa says stormwater system improvements are working

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The city of Tampa says millions of dollars spent on anti-flooding projects are working as intended.

"They cleaned out the sewers, and that seems to have sorted out a lot of it," said Joe Griffith of South Tampa.

Back in 2015, a flash flood backed up several feet of water near his home at Horatio and Habana.

"It floated my daughter's car almost halfway down the street," Griffith said.

The city showed FOX 13 News a list of $26 million it spent or is planning to spend on 53 projects since mid-2016. The city says the projects, so far, have made a difference.

On Habana, they've angled road surfaces towards drains. On Bayshore, they've chipped away barnacles that were blocking pipes. And on Estrella, near Dale Mabry, they're laying a new drainage system.

"We have been able to get a number of projects designed and constructed in a short period of time, and a lot of maintenance work done that is making a big difference," said Jean Duncan, the city's director of stormwater services.

This isn't to say Tampa is water-free. Its bowl-like geography makes that impossible. 

On Estrella, Marshall Parr pointed to a large pot of standing water that accumulated Friday.

The city says it will tap the $14 million yearly allotments for anti-flooding projects over the next 25 years, if not to stop flooding, but at least contain it.