Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

2015 in Review: Hundreds of homes damaged by torrential summertime rains, flooding

Doug Caple tows his wife, Erica; daughter, Anabel; and dog, Buck, home in Elfers following days of heavy rain and flooding in early August.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Doug Caple tows his wife, Erica; daughter, Anabel; and dog, Buck, home in Elfers following days of heavy rain and flooding in early August.

Once the rain started in late July, it seemed as if it would never end.

For three weeks, water — up to 40 inches in the Elfers area — descended upon west Pasco, causing rivers to rise and flood basins to overflow. Water was waist deep in some places, and the preferred mode of transportation went from car to canoe.

More than 300 Pasco homes were damaged or destroyed, many along the Anclote River, in the Bass Lake community and in Thousand Oaks in Trinity. Many more residents whose homes sustained water damage were not able to flush their toilets for weeks as standing water submerged their septic tanks.

The Anclote River at Elfers was well above the 24-foot mark for major flood stage, and water poured into homes that were not elevated on stilts and blocked traffic at State Road 54 and Rowan Road.

The rising water also created a public health nightmare as officials found potentially harmful levels of excrement in the standing water.

County crews and inmates helped residents pack thousands of sandbags at pickup stations, and water caused millions of dollars in road and infrastructure damage. Several dozen people also sought refuge in county emergency shelters.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied a request by Gov. Rick Scott to declare the area a disaster zone, which would have allowed federal dollars and relief to flow into Pasco. Some residents, however, were able to obtain relief from state funds.

As the year ended, the county was struggling to figure out how to pay for long-term road and drainage improvements, expected to cost more than $100 million.

Josh Solomon, Times staff

2015 in Review: Hundreds of homes damaged by torrential summertime rains, flooding 12/30/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 6:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated

    Footballpreps

    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Clearwater police: Car thief dead after owner fires gun

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — One man is dead after the owner of a car fired shots at the thieves who were stealing it Monday night, police said.

  4. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive

    World

    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  5. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.