Centre Lake neighborhood submerged, homeowners dealing with ongoing nightmare

Source: Ian Dean

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — For homeowners in the Centre Lake subdivision, the nightmare began Friday afternoon.

And, it hasn’t stopped.

After four days of frustration and fear, their neighborhood is still submerged. The streets look like rivers. Homes are saturated and soaked. People are using kayaks and canoes to get home, if they can get home at all. Vehicles can barely pass.

Source: Paul Sandler

Just ask Paul Sandler.

He describes the deluge as a flash flood. Nearly 23 inches of water came gushing into his home, he says. He had to escape through the front window. He explained how he got out just in time.

“I mean, it was crazy. It was a flash flood. It came out of nowhere,” he told WFLA.

Paul showed us the waterline in his home. While he was able to salvage some items in his home, including his wedding album, he still feels extreme disappointment. He just fixed his house after the damage caused by Hurricane Hermine.

“This is crazy,” he said, shaking his head.

Paul is not alone.

His neighbor, Michele Durling, is also left picking up the pieces. For her, Mother Nature’s flooding fury was one heck of a weather welcome as she came home from vacation, a wedding on the Delaware shore.

She flew home to Tampa Bay to find her streets submerged and her home underwater. She fought back tears when she shared your story with us.

Source: Paul Sandler

“I’ve been just trying to keep it together because I’m not one for crying in front of people. I’m waiting ’til I can be alone and let it sink in,” she admitted.

“Something is wrong here,” said first-time homeowner Blake Williams.

He wants answers. He claims that he and his neighbors begged Manatee County commissioners to carefully construct Fiddler’s Creek subdivision next-door, specifically asking that it not be built up so high – knowing if it rains, the water would only have one place to go — their homes.

After emails, phone calls and homeowners association meetings, Blake tells us the county wasn’t listening.

“This water should be coming down by now. The water should not be here after three days of waiting. Something is backing up at the Pierce Canal. It needs to be resolved,” he said.

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