Lake Monroe, swollen thanks to Hurricane Irma, is now spilling over into downtown Sanford’s waterfront, flooding streets and threatening to close businesses.

  • Lake Monroe spills onto downtown Sanford waterfront
  • Streets flooded, businesses threatened
  • Lake does not crest until Friday or Saturday

“When you look out the window and see alligator eyes looking back at you, that is a bit nerve wracking,” said Aimee Gabriel.

Gabriel works at Monroe’s on the Lake, a hotel on Marina Island in downtown Sanford. Floodwaters have already covered much of Seminole Boulevard along the waterfront, forcing the city to close much of the road.

Some water is beginning to cover part of Palmetto Avenue, which is the only road in and out of Marina Island.

“I do suspect if it comes up any higher, it will make it difficult for guests to come here and for us to come to work,” said Gabriel.

Reggie Ram owns and manages the hotel and St. Johns River Steak and Seafood next door where Irma did major damage – destroying an entire outdoor seating area.

“We seated about 60 to 70 people outside, and it’s just total destruction,” said Ram.

He says business has dwindled since Irma hit and damaged his restaurant.

“Thousands of dollars in lost revenue,” said Ram.

If the water goes up any higher, his and other restaurants, businesses and even medical offices on Marina Island will be cut off from traffic.

“If they can’t get to us we’ll probably have to totally shut the business down,” said Ram.

Gabriel says she’s worried about a forecast that calls for rain in the next few days. More rain could mean higher floodwaters.

“We’re just at God’s mercy on this one,” said Gabriel.

Seminole County’s Emergency Manager Alan Harris says Lake Monroe is not expected to crest until Friday or Saturday. Harris says if Central Florida gets more rain over the weekend, that cresting could be pushed back.