NEW PORT RICHEY, FL — Early Tuesday morning, Pasco County Fire and Rescue and Sheriff Deputies responded to the Oaks View Apartments to help residents evacuate. Pasco county officials say water is approaching structures in their complex, located at 7541 Highwater Drive in New Port Richey. Duke Energy has been called to turn off power to the complex as air conditioning units are in standing water.
Traffic is being back up on SR 54 as rescue units remain on scene to help with evacuations. Two of the three eastbound lanes are now blocked by fire rescue vehicles at Highwater Drive. Cars can slowly get by in the left lane.
Monday night, Pasco County re-issued the evacuation order for residents in flood prone areas in the Anclote River Estates area of Elfers and ordered evacuation for Suncoast Gateway Mobile Home Park in Port Richey. Late Monday Pasco County deputies said water is continuing to rise in Trinity and areas around the Anclote River.
After additional rain accumulated over the weekend, officials say the Anclote River in Elfers is at historic levels. The flood warning for the area has been extended until late Thursday night.
The Anclote River near Elfers continues to rise Tuesday morning. As of 7 a.m., the river was 5.1 feet above the flood stage of 20 feet. By Tuesday afternoon when the tide is high, the river is expected to crest at 25.6 feet, or 5.6 feet above flood stage. That crest height is slightly lower than previously expected. Previous forecasts had the river cresting 6.1 feet above flood stage. Pasco County officials say the record high was 27 feet in 1945.
Local government cannot relieve the situation through pumping, because the rivers, streams and ground are saturated. Any additional rainfall in the next couple days will continue to impact roads, yards and structures.
Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco told residents be off the road and in safe shelter by 3 p.m. Monday. “Even if it stops raining we want people to realize it’s not over,” Sheriff Chris Nocco said, telling people it’s not a good idea to be driving around due to the saturated ground conditions. “Have a plan, leave work early, pick up the kids early if necessary. Be safe,” Nocco said.
A shelter is open in Pasco County for residents in need. The Red Cross has staffed an evacuation shelter at the First Presbyterian Church on Ridge Road. Residents in need of immediate shelter should contact the RIC at 727-847-2411.
For residents in the Anclote River Estates community the evacuation area subject to flooding is as follows:
* Main roadways include: Celtic Drive and Elfers Parkway
* North boundary is State Road 54
* Ella Lane to the south
* East boundary is Dellefield Street and Riverbank Drive
* West boundary is Glenside Drive
Many residents are packing up their homes, using boxes and trash bags to remove valuables. News Channel 8’s Candace McCowan says residents are frustrated, as this is the second evacuation order in one week. Some residents express concern about looters since they say homes were broken into during the last evacuation.
The following roads are flooded in Pasco County:
Little Road is flooded between Ridge and Massachusetts Ave. – use caution
Seven Springs Blvd closed between SR 54 and Mitchell Ranch Road due to flooding.
Starkey Blvd closed at Decubellis Road in New Port Richey closed due to flooding, road under water
Ridge Road is closed from US 19 to Congress due to flooding.
The following sand bag operations are open:
Fire Station #17, 2951 Seven Springs Blvd., New Port Richey
West Pasco Government Center, 7536 State Street, New Port Richey
J.W. Mitchell Park, 4025 Little Rd., New Port Richey
Fire Station #10, 7918 Rhodes Rd., Hudson
Veterans Memorial Park, 14333 Hicks Rd., Hudson
C- Barn on 30906 Warder Rd., San Antonio.
Fire Station #1, 6907 Dairy Rd., Zephyrhills
6240 Pine Hill Rd., New Port Richey. Limit 10 bags and must be a city of New Port Richey resident.