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Bass Lake neighbors shrug at Pasco flood advisory

This was the scene a year ago when Suzanne Hamilton surveyed flooding in Bass Lake Estates. Thursday night, Pasco County issued an advisory for residents there and in two adjoining neighborhoods to evacuate because of the potential for more flooding. Friday morning, several expressed reluctance to leave.
This was the scene a year ago when Suzanne Hamilton surveyed flooding in Bass Lake Estates. Thursday night, Pasco County issued an advisory for residents there and in two adjoining neighborhoods to evacuate because of the potential for more flooding. Friday morning, several expressed reluctance to leave.
Published Sep. 15, 2017

NEW PORT RICHEY — Bass Lake spilled over Brookwood Drive on Friday morning while a lighted sign at the neighborhood's entrance warned of a "flood advisory'' and orange and white barricades marked the high water along the streets.

Residents, however, just shrugged.

"It does it every year. We're used to it,'' said Debbie Centella, 46, of Wicker Drive.

The advisory came from Pasco County. On Thursday evening, emergency management officials recommended residents near Bass Lake, Lake Worrell and in Crane's Roost evacuate their homes because the forecast for rainfall could exacerbate the already high water left behind by Hurricane Irma.

There are approximately 470 homes in the three neighborhoods that are north and east of the intersection of Ridge and Little roads. High water is nothing new. In the summer of 2015, nearly 40 inches of rain drenched some parts of west Pasco, leaving flooded streets and damaged homes. Last year, Hurricane Hermine caused more than $100 million in damage, including destruction of two dozen homes and major damage to nearly 300 more.

Friday morning, amid sunshine and humidity, leaving their homes didn't resonate with the residents in Bass Lake Estates and Bass Lake Acres.

"No, I'm not leaving. We've been here 30 years now,'' said George Jennings, 58.

He said his father built two homes on Maynard Avenue, and highest the water has come has been to the corner of the house across the street.

Gene Lally, 63, also of 9140 Maynard Ave., said the street flooding is just accepted, almost as a matter of routine, after stormy weather. The county's advisory to evacuate came after similar recommendations in Elfers for residents near the Anclote River, and after more than 18,000 people sought shelter in 21 public schools as Irma traveled across the county early Monday morning.

Friday morning, the National Weather Service extended its flood warning for the Anclote River until Saturday. Cypress Creek in the Lutz-Land O'Lakes area crested at about 11 a.m. "and should remain steady for the next several days,'' the weather service said.

"Everybody's tired of everything,'' said Lally. "I don't think you'll find anyone who's evacuating.''

At least one person was considering it.

Lena Burleson, 31, of Wicker Drive wasn't certain of her plans. Two years ago, the water from Bass Lake, a natural watershed, reached within 6 feet of her front door.

"We don't know,'' Burleson said. "Just getting prepared if we do have to leave we can rest easy we've done all we could to prevent damage.''