PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – After two days of sunshine, residents in the Crane’s Roost Neighborhood of Pasco County are starting to wonder if they will ever get relief from flooding. “We are standing in a lot of flood water. A lot of critters, saw a few fish swimming in here this morning,” said Valerie Schaefer as she stood in her flooded out garage.
“This is a place that we were forgotten, people didn’t know this was going on. When you go down Little Road, it is dry,” said Schaefer. Several homes in her neighborhood are flooded with more than two feet of water inside, others are surrounded by water. People in the neighborhood want to know why the water isn’t going down.
“Nobody is giving us answers, nobody is wanting to help until you guys get out here, so we’re glad you guys are here,” said Jim McLeod who lives just across a flooded street from Schaefer. County Administrator Michele Baker says she is aware of the problem.
“I would say to you that for Bass Lake, Jasmine and Crane’s Roost, the commissioners have been out there, our needs assessment teams have been out there, our damage assessment teams have been out there. If there is a need that we can meet we will absolutely do so and they can call us,” said Baker. She also says there are no quick or easy solutions for the neighborhood. “If the help that they are asking for is that we drain the swamp,that’s going to be a long time in coming,” said Baker. “When I was the emergency management director, my most favorite thing to say was, ‘You live in a swamp. You need to have flood insurance if you live in Pasco County, whether you live in a flood zone or not.”
Other Pasco County residents are also reeling from the flooding. Getting into Gordon Page’s house in the Golden Acres neighborhood requires a trek into flood water from nearby Yellow Lake. “Believe it or not, it was a nice house,” Page said.
Page is a Korean War veteran. He invited News Channel 8 to see what almost three weeks of steady rain is doing to his house. With the musty odor of mold in the air, Gordon showed us the 3 to 4 inches of nasty, stinky flood water that has ruined couches, chairs and tables.
“This is the first time it ever did this. We’ve had storms in the past, and if you look out my back yard … now that’s all lawn,” he said. .
Gordon shares his home with his wife and three elderly military veterans who rent rooms. The veterans’ medical equipment is out of the way and they are in foster homes.
Gordon bought flood insurance as the rain started to fall but it is not yet in effect. “I’m 85 years old. At my age, I can’t bounce back. I am completely wiped out,” he said.