Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Summertime deluges, flooding brought back memories of Debby

In June, just days after the start of the 2013 hurricane season, Hernando County had a brush with the first named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Andrea.

The storm, which made landfall north of Hernando County, brought gusty winds and steady downpours. Though it dampened the area, shutting down coastal parks and benching the Weeki Wachee mermaids, there was no widespread damage

As it turned out, it was a precursor to a couple of bouts of heavy summertime rains — reminders of Tropical Storm Debby in 2012, which flooded neighborhoods, opened sinkholes and closed roadways.

Late one August afternoon, a thunderstorm hovered over central Hernando and Pasco counties for a couple of hours, dumping several inches of rain. The rain came so fast that retention ponds overflowed. Low areas filled with water. Waves of water poured into stores surrounding the flooded intersection of Cortez Boulevard and Broad Street in Brooksville.

Some of the worst flooding damage happened in historically low areas on the city's south side, including the Greenbriar Villa Apartments off Cortez Boulevard, the Southway Villa Mobile Home Park off Barnett Road and at the Campers Holiday Travel Park south of town, off Culbreath Road.

A month later, some of the same residents were threatened again as 5 inches of rain were recorded during a 24-hour period.

With the data collected during those storms and updated flood map information, local officials have been working with state and federal agencies to create plans to fix recurring problems.

The work may include raising roadways and building new storm water retention ponds.

Although some of the work may be years away, the Florida Turnpike Authority is in the process of improving a drainage pond and raising the lanes at the northern terminus of the Suncoast Parkway. That stretch of road was under more than 5 feet of water and was closed for days after Debby.

Barbara Behrendt, Times staff writer

Summertime deluges, flooding brought back memories of Debby 12/27/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 27, 2013 6:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tim Tebow heads back to Sunshine State with promotion to St. Lucie


    Tim Tebow is coming back to the Sunshine State.

    Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow looks out from the dugout before the team's game against the Augusta GreenJackets on April 6 in Columbia, S.C. Columbia defeated Augusta 14-7.
  2. 'Sharknado' coming to Tampa Theatre with director Q&A


    A movie about a tornado filled with man-eating sharks has to be better on the big screen, right? You'll have a chance to find out for yourself when the Syfy network's original Sharknado screens at Tampa Theatre.

    The original 'Sharknado,' which premiered in 2013, will screen at Tampa Theatre.
  3. Coast Guard airlifts man from fishing boat in Gulf of Mexico

    Public Safety

    A 27-year-old man was evacuated from a fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter Saturday night, authorities said.

  4. Trump: Not 'that far off' from passing health overhaul


    WASHINGTON — Making a final push, President Donald Trump said he doesn't think congressional Republicans are "that far off" on a health overhaul to replace "the dead carcass of Obamacare." Expressing frustration, he complained about "the level of hostility" in government and wondered why both parties can't work …

    President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing event for the "Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) DCEV208
  5. Erin Andrews, ex-NHL player Jarret Stoll marry in Montana


    NEW YORK — Sportscaster Erin Andrews and former NHL player Jarret Stoll have tied the knot.

    FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2016 file photo, Fox Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews, left, speaks with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones after an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Atlanta. Jennifer Allen, a publicist for Andrews, confirms Sunday, June 25, 2017, that the 38-year-old Fox Sports sideline reporter and ???‚??“Dancing with the Stars???‚?? co-host married the 35-year-old Stoll over the weekend.  (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) NYSP103