PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – Harold Wires was sitting in a maintenance office in a Tarpon Springs apartment complex when he saw a flash and heard the crack of thunder. ” It was pretty loud. It actually jarred things off the counter inside the maintenance shop, so it was a pretty hard hit to the building,” Wires said.
The lightning hit the building and started a fire in the attic. Tarpon Springs firefighters quickly responded and were able to put the fire out before there was too much damage. “Minimal damage. Right now we are just going through to make sure everything is out and try to get out of here before something else happens, ” said Deputy Fire Chief Scott Young.
In Holiday, Tim Speer paddled through his neighborhood standing in a kayak. “It comes up fast and then it usually goes down fast,” said Speer. Friday, the water wasn’t going down very fast.
Kyle Wood also paddled through the neighborhood in his kayak and says the flooding is a common problem in the neighborhood. “We have about 4 inches of water in the garage. We’re about two to three inches from getting in the house and it happens this way almost every time it rains,” said Wood.
Cars were trapped on Jarvis Street by water that was standing waste deep in the middle of the road.
At Moog Road, just west of US 19, a driver lost control of a car and ended up in a ditch. This part of Moog is now shut down. Near Avery Road and Oakwood Drive, water is sloshing up against some foundations. But, so far, it’s staying out of homes. At Ivory Terrace and Mexicali Street, flood waters made for treacherous travel for drivers who barreled through. Flooding spilled over the sea wall at 3741 Montclair Drive in New Port Richey, officials said.
A storm water pipe at 7701 Cumber Drive collapsed, causing a depression. The depression is 3 feet in diameter and 2.5 feet deep.
Pasco County set up sandbag filling stations so residents could arm themselves against the expected rising waters. Trinity resident Nick Davella jumped at the chance. “We’ve been getting water, flood issues so we’re getting prepared. It’s getting a little high in the back,” Davella said.
“Better to deal with this now than the house being flooded and having worse headaches later,” Kevin Rodriguez said.
Some residents think drainage needs to be improved. “I think they should make this drain updated to take the amount of water that comes per minute to actually flow out of here,” John Mencher said.