IRMA: Some Seminole County homeowners still dealing with rising floodwaters

By Jeff Allen, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fortunately, many people in Central Florida who experienced flooding from Hurricane Irma are seeing water levels slowly recede.  But in one Seminole County neighborhood, homeowners say they’re still nervously watching floodwater creeping closer to their homes.

  • Some Seminole Co. homeowners still dealing with rising floodwaters
  • Several retention ponds overflowing near homes in Longwood
  • Residents concerned about water getting in homes

People who live near Myrtle Lake in Longwood say right after Irma came through they had no major flooding problems. But Kenny Hearn said a few days later, the water in several retention ponds began rising near his neighbor’s homes. 

Hearn said he’s now using hundreds of sandbags and a pump to keep the water away from his house.

“It comes into the pool, we keep pumping it out and it just keeps coming,” said Hearn.

Hearn said after heavy rain since Irma, the water near his home quickly rose several inches.  He fears if there’s any more rain, water could go into his house and cause major problems.

“And if that gets up in the structure and drywall, my worst fear is we’d have to knock the house down and start all over,” said Hearn.

Hearn said he wishes Seminole County could do something to divert the water away from him and his neighbor’s homes.

“We need to see if it can be diverted from coming in as well as accelerate the outflow,” said Hearn.

Seminole County’s emergency manager said lakes in the area naturally swell following major storms and often cover part of people’s properties.  The county has pumped some water in the area to prevent two homes from flooding and is now closely monitoring water levels to make sure floodwater doesn’t go inside anyone’s house.

Hearn said the lake behind his home is now double what it normally is, and rose quickly after an afternoon storm since Irma.

“Anyone above us that gets rain, we’re getting all of their rain as well as our own, so it’s exponentially increasing unfortunately,” said Hearn.

Hearn now worries anymore rain will send water flowing into his home.  He said the constant worrying of how high the water will rise is taking a toll on his family.

“My wife and I have definitely gotten exhausted the last three weeks – not a whole lot of sleep around here,” said Hearn.