Advertisement

Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at tampabay.com/coronavirus. Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Local Weather

With 12 inches of rain in some places, Tampa Bay area in a soggy state

NEW PORT RICHEY — The water from the lake behind Doris Burriesci's house on Cayuga Drive was only a few feet away, creeping closer.

The rain just kept falling.

By Saturday afternoon, the lake had expanded 6 feet closer to her house than usual. It hadn't been this bad since Tropical Storm Debby, the 75-year-old said. That year, 2012, her house flooded, ruining the kitchen and floors. She had no insurance then, and she can't afford another disaster now.

"Where am I going to go?" she said, her eyes watering. "Maybe the sun will come out."

By Saturday afternoon, it had.

However, WTSP 10Weather meteorologists said the rain could keep falling today, with a 70 percent chance of afternoon showers throughout the bay area and a 60 percent chance of rain on Monday. In addition, the ground could remain saturated for at least a few more days.

"We're seeing pretty widespread rain across the Tampa Bay area," said Tyler Fleming, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin.

In the past two days, New Port Richey and Holiday have experienced 10 to 12 inches of rain. The Anclote River in Pasco County is rising, as is the Little Manatee River in Hillsborough County.

A flood watch is in effect through today for Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties, according to the National Weather Service.

On Saturday, at least eight callers reported flooding in parts of South Tampa and Davis Islands, said Marvin Fulks with Tampa's stormwater and transportation services.

But Pasco County is being hit hardest.

On Friday night, a stormwater pipe collapsed and created a depression 3 feet wide and 2½ deep in New Port Richey on Cumber Drive. Flood waters spilled over a seawall at 3741 Montclair Drive.

Pasco County officials received more than 20 calls about flooding before 8 a.m. Saturday, including requests for barricades, reports of cars trapped in intersections and debris blocking storm drains.

Jeena Rossel, also of Cayuga Drive, helped sandbag Doris Burriesci's door Friday night.

Rossel hasn't had any water reach her house because it's set higher. Her neighbors likely won't be as lucky.

Across town on Runnel Drive, June and Allan Dorman used their van to block off their street, covered by 6 inches of water Saturday morning that was creeping toward the Dormans' driveway.

Allan Dorman expects that if it continues to rain, the flooding may reach their garage and flood their home. A truck pulling a boat through the street created a wake, pushing a rush of water up the driveway and close to the garage, June Dorman said.

She called Pasco County officials to help them block the street, she said, but "they told us they'll get to us when they get to us."

The neighbors on this block face this type of flooding every year, they said.

"We've been fighting this for 20 years," shouted David Shihadeh from across the street.

On nearby Yucca Drive, a 2-feet deep river of water flowed through the streets.

Russ Gibbs said his house at 7824 Yucca Drive flooded last year, and he hopes it doesn't happen again. A Bright House Networks truck drove through his street and splashed water against his garage. He said an unfixed swale behind his neighborhood has caused several bad floods in recent years.

Pasco County and New Port Richey officials were handing out sandbags throughout the day Saturday.

In the afternoon, Doug and Chris Fulgham of Holiday shoveled wet sand into plastic bags at Pasco County Fire Station 17.

Flood water earlier had ruined the carpets in their guest apartment. Chris Fulgham said the flooding was even worse four years ago when she had to replace everything in the room.

Their nephew, Trevor Auxier, 23, helped fill their truck bed with sandbags, which they planned to use around their house.

They also had help from Scott Leslie, 54, who drove to the fire station Saturday morning to assist with sandbags. He felt lucky the flooding hadn't affected his home, he said, and wanted to help those who were less fortunate. He grew up in Indiana and said it was just the Midwestern thing to do.

Information from WTSP 10News was used in this report. Contact Samantha Schmidt at (813) 435-7308 or sschmidt@tampabay.com. Contact Katie Mettler at kmettler@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3446.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement