NEW PORT RICHEY — Deputies are investigating the death of a man whose body washed up Wednesday morning in a flooded area along the Anclote River.
A caller reported the body about 11 a.m. near Elfers Parkway, a roadway submerged by flooding from Tropical Storm Debby. Authorities would not release any information about the identity of the man, other than to say he was middle-aged and white. They have identified the man but had not yet reached his next of kin.
There were no signs of foul play or trauma to the body, and at this point the death is not considered suspicious, said Doug Tobin, a spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Detectives are waiting for the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.
Still, the man's death underscored the danger inherent in the flooded areas of southwest Pasco, where county officials issued mandatory evacuation orders Tuesday for about 7,000 homes and businesses. Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said some of the houses along Elfers Parkway are in very deep water with fast-moving currents.
"Don't take anything for granted," said Nocco, explaining roads have been closed and areas have been evacuated for good reason. "We don't want anybody harmed, we don't want anybody killed because of the situation."