On Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, an unusual rain event appears to have caused flooding within the Oakland-Tildenville cemetery. Pulte Homes, the owner of the neighboring development, responded quickly and began pumping water from the cemetery site. The Cemetery is on private property which is owned by Tildenville Missionary Baptist Church Inc. and managed and maintained by the Cemetery Board.
Upon encountering a potential source of runoff into the cemetery on Tuesday, Sept. 29, the Town, as a public service, voluntarily stepped in and plugged a drainage culvert on the east side of the development’s driveway along the State Road 50 right of way. This was done as an emergency stop-gap measure to minimize flooding until the involved parties could engineer, permit and construct a long-term solution. At this time, most of the water has been pumped out of the cemetery or has receded.
Town leadership, in a spirit of community and cooperation, has met with members of the Cemetery Board to discuss acting as a liaison in order to facilitate next steps among the parties responsible for this area. In this capacity, the Town continues conversations with Pulte Homes, their engineers, St. Johns River Water Management District, and the Florida Department of Transportation to encourage them to fashion a solution for the complex drainage issues facing this locale.
The Town takes this matter very seriously, as the Oakland-Tildenville Cemetery is a sacred resting place for many of our community's beloved family members. The Town would certainly like to see the cemetery property protected from future flooding events and will do its best to assist with that process.
The Town has been informed that families of those interred have recently retained legal representation. In light of this development and the potential for future legal proceedings, the Town has been advised to refrain from any further public comment and will therefore be unable to attend the previously scheduled community meeting this evening.
Flooding has receded at the Oakland-Tildenville Cemetery, with residual water remaining at the center and near the perimeter fencing. A pump will remain on site throughout the weekend, with Town staff closely monitoring the weather. Should the area receive additional rainfall, the pumps can be turned on quickly.
The Town continues ongoing conversations with property owners, community members and state agencies to make progress toward a permanent solution on the cemetery drainage issue.
Public Works has completed grading nearly all five miles of unpaved roads impacted by Sunday's rain.
Staff has cleared most culverts throughout Town to prepare for potential rain this weekend. Residents can also help prevent localized flooding by keeping ditches, culverts, and storm drains clear of yard waste, leaves, trash and debris. These simple actions can help make a difference within our community.
Town leadership visited the Oakland-Tildenville Cemetery today with members of the Cemetery Board to assess the grounds. Water levels have now nearly full receded. A pump remains on site to continue to remove any remaining water from the area.
We have been in contact with Pulte Homes and their engineer, St. Johns River Water Management District, and the Florida Department of Transportation in order to formulate a permanent fix for the drainage issues. We are committed to working toward a resolution with property owners, community members and state agencies.
The Town has graded approximately 75% of the unpaved roads damaged by intense rains Sunday, with six major impacted roads now repaired. Work will resume tomorrow until complete.
Public Works staff are clearing culverts to prepare for future rains. Culverts can become clogged when slow-moving or stagnant water deposits sediment into pipes. Regular maintenance of culverts allows for proper drainage during periods of heavy rainfall.
Town of Oakland leadership continues to assess the Oakland-Tildenville Cemetery site.
At this time, most of the water has been pumped out of the cemetery or has receded, with the exception of the lowest lying area at the center. Upon finding a potential source of runoff into the cemetery on Tuesday, the Town plugged a drainage culvert on the east side of the development’s driveway along the State Road 50 right of way. This should significantly reduce or eliminate flooding until a permanent long-term fix can be engineered and constructed.
Town officials are continuing to work with our partners to determine the specific cause of the flooding that occurred Sunday evening. We are committed to working toward a resolution with property owners, community members and state agencies.
The Town met with the Oakland-Tildenville Cemetery Board today to express our sincere apologies for the pain the community has suffered due to the flooding, to hear their concerns and to let them know the steps the Town is taking to help fix this complex issue.
The Town will host a community meeting with family members of those interred at the cemetery at a date to be announced.
Pulte Homes has been continually pumping at the site after the Town received 4.4 inches of rain overnight Sunday and experienced a flash flood.
During an additional 1.5 inches of rain yesterday, Town staff noticed a potential contributing factor to the flooding and plugged a pipe which had been installed as part of the development.
We are committed to working with the Pulte Homes and jurisdictional permitting agencies to find a swift and permanent solution to the flooding issue at the Oakland-Tildenville Cemetery.
The Town experienced significant flash flooding Sunday night, washing out some of our unpaved roads. Please know that the Town is working diligently to grade five miles of these storm-damaged roads.
The Oakland-Tildenville Cemetery has experienced flooding due to significant rains. The Town is working closely with Tildenville Missionary Baptist Church, the owner of the Oakland-Tildenville Cemetery, to ensure a permanent solution is found to the flooding issue. The Town takes this matter very seriously, as the Oakland-Tildenville Cemetery is a resting place for many of our community's beloved family members.
This cemetery experienced flooding due to significant rains. The Town recorded 4.14 inches of rainfall in approximately two hours, with 3 inches coming down between 8 and 9 p.m. last night. The ground had already been saturated from more than 4 inches of rain during the past month, and low-lying areas were inundated when the storm passed through.
Pulte, the owner of the neighboring development and adjacent road, is pumping water from the low-lying cemetery. Town staff has been on scene offering emergency assistance to the developer. Pumps had been previously installed by the developer but failed last night due to the flash flooding. We now know more needs to be done. Due to the serious and sensitive nature of this flooding issue, the Town has called upon the developer to swiftly work on a permanent solution. Pulte Homes has expressed it is committed to providing a permanent solution to the flooding.