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Ground breaking storm water improvement project in Gulf Breeze

SANTA ROSA COUNTY -- The city of Gulf Breeze broke ground Wednesday on a $1.8 million dollar storm water improvement project. 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is paying for it with money from an oil spill settlement.  They're pumping a total of $5 million dollars into storm water projects throughout Northwest Florida.

8 weeks ago Williamsburg Park was like an island surrounded by several inches of water left over from April's heavy rain.

Now, shovels are ready to kick-start a Storm water improvement project designed to offer better flood protection.

"I think this will be one of those community supported projects that is going to benefit the community and offer some flood protection and also help with water quality" said Mimi Drew, Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Some of the improvements include a Hydrodynamic separator at North Outfall.
A New pump-lift station on Camelia Street, and a new pump-lift station on Russ Drive.

The Storm water project will also replace pumps at pumping stations and replace aging drainage pipes.

Good news to residents eager to move beyond the flood recovery.
"A nice coincidence here with the BP generated grant, for the city and I guess they fast tracked it to get it in place" said Dave Schurge, Gulf Breeze Resident.