Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Progress Village braces for more flooding after 15 families evacuated

TAMPA — Lorrie Underwood is standing outside in his slippers, peering down his flooded street.

He points to a spot on the driveway a few feet from his front door. That, he says, is how far the rain came Wednesday.

"Well, I thought it'd be draining better than this," said Underwood, 75, who said he hasn't seen flooding this bad in Progress Village in about a decade. "But the way it rained yesterday, phew! It rained!"

Fifteen families were evacuated from the Progress Village area Wednesday night, when a record amount of rain fell on Tampa.

Residents of the neighborhood woke up Thursday morning to a soggy sight. The water that invaded their front yards and homes Wednesday had still not all receded. And Thursday's forecast didn't inspire much hope.

Expected: more rain, more flooding, more frustration.

"I don't think the drain has been able to keep up with that amount of rain in a short time," said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokesman Ray Yeakley. "I really don't know why that is."

Though nearby churches were ready to serve as shelters Wednesday night, everyone who was evacuated stayed with other family members, according to Fire Rescue.

Rescuers know it's not over. "We're ready," Yeakley said.

It's not the only problem spot in the Tampa Bay area.

A nearly 10-block area of Pasco County, between Port Richey and Hudson, was blocked off and evacuated Wednesday for the same reason.

But while rain can't be avoided, what about the flooding? Why so many problems with drainage, and how can it be fixed?

Chris Kelly, 36, who lives off Progress Village Boulevard, wants to know. "They've got to do something," he said.

"The only reason why we haven't had flooding in here in so long is because we haven't had any water," Kelly said. "They need to fix that drain."

John Newton, director of transportation maintenance for Hillsborough County public works, said water from that neighborhood drains to the Archie Creek, just south of the area, before heading to Tampa Bay. Newton said the water couldn't drain Wednesday because the creek was full.

He said the only way to prevent flooding in a similar situation would be to install a pump system, but that would take time, money and permits. And that area only floods every couple of years, Newton said.

"When you get that kind of rain, it's going to happen," he said.

Progress Village

View Larger Map

Progress Village braces for more flooding after 15 families evacuated 07/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 2, 2009 11:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Massive crocodile seen roaming the streets, and there was only 1 thing a cop could do


    Name one thing you really don't want to see around 4 a.m. walking around your neighborhood.

    Watch out for that croc.

    A crocodile was seen roaming a street in Miami-Dade.
  2. Pinellas County Sheriff's employee resigns under investigation related to domestic violence arrest


    LARGO — A civilian Pinellas County Sheriff's Office employee resigned Tuesday while under an internal investigation that began after he was arrested on domestic battery charges.

    Joshua Volz resigned Tuesday from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. He had been under investigation after he was arrested for domestic battery, according to police. [Pinellas County Jail]
  3. Mom accused of burying guns after fatal teen shooting declines plea deal


    TAMPA — The Valrico mother accused of hiding the guns after her teenage son shot and killed another boy in their garage told a judge Tuesday that she wants a trial, not a plea deal.

    Heidi Quinn is accused of hiding two guns after her son, Cody, fatally shot 17-year-old Jayquon Johnson in their garage. She faces charges of tampering with evidence. Her son was not charged in Johnson's death because authorities ruled it self-defense. He does face related drug charges. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Stone says no coordination between Trump campaign and Russia

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone said Tuesday he's "aware of no evidence whatsoever" that Trump's campaign coordinated with Russians during the 2016 election.

  5. Pasco deputies: Citgo gas station was selling pipes for crack and meth


    TRILBY — A Citgo gas station is facing hefty fines after Pasco County Sheriff's deputies said clerks weren't just selling gas, but doling out pipes for crack and meth.