Pasco credits preparation for avoiding floods during Tropical Storm Colin

PASO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Pasco County braced for the worst before Tropical Storm Colin but ended up with no flooding and very little wind damage.

“As an emergency services director, the hardest thing to respond to is a flood … It lingers and it lingers and it lingers,” Pasco’s new emergency services director, Kevin Guthrie, said.

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On Tuesday dozens of county workers fanned out into neighborhoods hit hard during prior storms to perform firsthand damage assessments but found little or no trouble this time around.

Guthrie credits preemptive actions by the county, including the draining of retention ponds and distribution of 30,000 sandbags prior to the storm, with preventing much more damage.

The worst two incidents Monday involved a tree that fell on a house in Zephyrhills and one that fell on a car in Hudson.

There were no reports of house flooding, in stark contrast to previous storms including one in August 2015 and Tropical Storm Debby, when hundreds of homes experienced damage.

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One of those homes belongs to Angela Hooks. Hooks barricaded her house with sandbags this time around.

“In Tropical Storm Debbie, I know it wasn’t a whole lot but we had over two feet of water in our home. We lost everything,” Hooks said. “Walls had to be cut four feet up to save what we could and it was a mess and after that we learned.”

Pasco County also learned that draining retention ponds prior to the storm and pumping them into storm sewers is also a good tactic to prevent street and house flooding.

“I’m absolutely thrilled about it,” Guthrie said.

 

 

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