Flooded Pasco residents blame county

Residents of Port Richey have seen enough rain and want some relief from county leaders.

Port Richey, FL – More than 16 hours after Hermine came ashore, more residents had to be rescued from a mobile home park in Port Richey and those who live in the Bass Lake neighborhood are pumping water from their homes.  Many are blaming Pasco County for not doing enough before the area was inundated with heavy rain.

Monica Fowler and John Simmerman waded through thigh-high water to get their dog to safety.  They started to notice water rising around 1 p.m. Friday and by 7 p.m. it had flooded their garage.

“It just kept on, kept on, building and building and building,” said Fowler.

The two decided to stay in their home, but 10 of their neighbors in the Suncoast Gateway Mobile Home Village off of Ridge Road called Port Richey firefighters to help them evacuate.

“It all deals with that drainage ditch right there.  This is the fourth time this park has flooded,” said Simmerman.

On Friday, emergency crews across Pasco County had to rescue or evacuate more than 40 people because of flooding. 

“It needs to go away.  We have had enough for a little while,” said Port Richey Fire Chief Timothy Fussell.

Amy Murray, who lives in the Bass Lake Estates neighborhood, and her family experienced serious flooding in 2015 and are still trying to recover.

“I blame Pasco County right now.  I blamed them last year and I'm definitely blaming them this year,” said Murray.

Murray showed 10News WTSP the blocked storm drain in her front yard that services her neighborhood.  It was clogged with dirt, weeds, sticks and other debris.

“This clogged up first and then it flooded the whole yard, straight into the house,” she said.

Murray prepared for Hermine and expected flooding.  She put sandbags around her house and in front of all doors, but they weren’t enough to keep out the water.

“It was coming in to the kitchen floor and running down off the steps,” she said as she showed 10News reporter Courtney Robinson the damage to her home.

Murray set up pumps to get the water out of her first floor.  She said in addition to the pumps she had spent the day trying to get rid of the water.

“They’ve been here for hours and hours I've been doing this since 9:30 a.m.  It’s been kind of rough,” she said.

Murray and others across Pasco County say it will continue to be rough for them when big storms hit until the county does something to get ahead of storms.

Many Pasco County residents posted pictures to the 10news WTSP Facebook page.  They came from neighborhoods throughout the county and showed similar problems with standing water. 

Commissioner Jack Mariano agrees there is a problem and is working on a permanent fix to prepare the county before storms.  He plans to present it as an agenda item that his fellow commissioners will pass.


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