IRMA: Longwood homeowners blame I-4 construction for flooding

By Christina Jensen and John W. Davis, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 10:41 PM EDT

Some homeowners in the Longwood area of Seminole County have been dealing with major flooding since Hurricane Irma and they say that the I-4 Ultimate Project is to blame.

  • Homeowners say construction caused pond to flood
  • FDOT says it is looking into situation
  • Residents to voice concerns at board meeting on Wednesday 

People who live off Lake Oaks Boulevard in Longwood say construction for Interstate 4 is to blame and they want to be compensated from the I-4 Ultimate Project.

The residents believe water is overflowing from a nearby retention pond, causing significant flooding and standing water. By Wednesday evening, the Florida Department of Transportation was on site pumping water out of the area.

Resident Karen Blaydes told us that although she's glad something's being done, she's frustrated that it took so long.

“No I can’t believe it now, and I just keep hoping that it’s just a nightmare and it will all be over, or we can turn back time or something, because it’s a nightmare every day. It’s never ending," Blaydes explained.

Blaydes told us her home as been in her family for 40 years. It's weathered many storms, but never flooded like this.

“It’s going in the right direction definitely," Blaydes said. "That area over there, I can see the ground now. You couldn’t see the ground before. It was still just water everywhere, so it’s definitely going down."

Homes that are near the pond still have considerable standing water and have sustained a lot of damage.

Several other homeowners say they are dealing with the same thing.

One family has had to resort to staying with friends and family because they still have a considerable amount of water in their home.

Some homeowners say they want compensation from the I-4 Ultimate Project.

“We just kept moving things up in the garage and moving the animals up and finally we brought everything inside and by the next morning we were completely surrounded. We were an island,” said Ashley Kinchen.

FDOT says the agency is looking to see if construction from the I-4 caused this retention pond to flood.

For homeowners like Blaydes, however, the damage is already done.

"Now it’s been a month that my house has been underwater. I can’t imagine that it’s salvageable," Blaydes concluded.