PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — They were looking for a peaceful place to settle with their families, but they had no idea their peaceful oasis would result in so much stress.
A backyard Oasis is what sold James Gary on his property. His land backs up to Brooker Creek Preserve.
“We liked bigger sized lots and we have wildlife that comes back here. It’s peaceful and quiet,” James told 10Investigates’ Jennifer Titus.
He expected and looked forward to nature around him. He didn’t expect his yard to turn into a swamp.
“During rainy season, water comes in from the reserve, fills up the entire back yard. The last few years, it has gone into the pool. We get swamp water in the pool.”
He’s not alone. His neighbors reached out to Turn to 10 too. They sent pictures of water under in their backyard and under their home.
They say the flooding happens when Brooker Creek Preserve overflows. That water has nowhere to go except their property.
Neighbors contacted the county but say they could never get in touch with the right person. That’s why they turned to 10. 10Investigates was able to get in touch with the county.
“It’s a natural drainage system, and we had lots of rain this year,” Susan Goebel Canning with Pinellas County explained.
Goebel-Canning says after our call, they sent crews out to check the properties.
“For the future, currently underway is a study with the watershed management plan. The study will allow us to understand flooding potential out there and give us ideas for best management practices and help us reduce those flood risks,” Goebel-Canning says.
She says the properties are also in a flood zone, which is something the county has no control over.
“For anyone purchasing a property they can visit their county’s website to understand flood risks,” said Goebel-Canning.
The county also tells 10Investigates they will be monitoring the preserve. If they notice sediment building up, they can clear that area in hopes to alleviate some of the flooding.
Now again, this story started because the homeowners didn’t feel like they had anywhere else to turn.
Do you have a consumer concern? Want us to look into something for you? If you do, you need to turn to 10! Simply send an email to Turnto10@wtsp.com and tell us your story!