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Trinity Residents Seek Solution to Flooding Woes

Pasco officials say there's no easy fix.

Residents of the Thousand Oaks subdivision in Trinity complained Tuesday to Pasco County commissioners about flooding Tropical Storm Debby brought to their neighborhood and urged them to find ways to keep their homes dry.

“Why was this allowed to happen?” said Cortney King, a teacher who lives in Thousand Oaks. He arrived at the meeting with a cadre of other residents.

Commissioners listened and indicated they wanted to see if there is a speedy solution.

“There’s just got to be someway that we can cut to the chase and get the dog gone job done,” said commission chairwoman Ann Hildebrand. 

Thousand Oaks has flooded in the past, but Tropical Storm Debby dumped a historic amount of rainfall on West Pasco. Residents complained to county commissioners that of flooding that came up to their properties and into the homes of neighbors.

Dredging the wetlands could provide some relief, said public works director Mike Garrett. The wetlands are at a higher elevation than the subdivision’s ponds, Garrett said. When the ponds overflow, the water can‘t drain into the wetlands.

The county has poured $2 million in the area over eight years that included a report that floated proposed fixes to flooding problems.

The county requested to dredge the wetlands in 2011, but the Southwest Florida Management District denied the maintenance exemption that the county sought to complete the work, Garrett said. The next level is the Army Corps of Engineers, which is hard to get approval from, he added.

County officials are going to meet with the Southwest Water Management District Monday for some talks, but they haven’t submitted a formal application for dredging yet. Garrett saw hope in the fact that Swiftmud has new management. 

King said water did not come into the house, but that some houses saw as much as 4 inches of water inside. His wife Kimberly said it came up to the King’s garage and that there were impacted residents who were too emotional to talk.

The Trinity Oaks subdivision is near Thousand Oaks and also has had flooding problems. Ron Levi, president of Trinity Oaks property owners association, lent his opinion, too.

“We need to put the pressure on someone to get something done,” he said. 

 Commissioner Jack Mariano wanted to explore moving forward as soon as possible and dealing with regulators later, but the county attorney advised against it.

Pasco County Administrator John Gallagher said the county staff was going to look into the options and see what can be done. He advised the impacted residents to form groups to represent their causes in future discussions.

Roxie Spell July 26, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I will tell HOW THEY COULD HELP, give up some of the "tourism" money 40,000,000.00 "earmaked" for the wonderful much needed LaCrosse Sports Stadium, or maybe having the sports stadium built will help the poor souls who were and are still flooded out of their homes. Ann Hildebrand has let her district down BIG TIME, with her patronizing smile at the poor Trinity homeowners.."I wish there was something we could do" she is so sad for them..BULL she really does NOT care. Do not expect her or any of our elected county commissioners to help out they are too busy teaming up with the Proctors in EAST Pasco to bother with the likes of West Pasco or Disctrict 3. They do not show their faces except for photo ops....very disheartening. Let us put all the money into a LOSING proposition and too bad about the real problems affecting the county. We will not get the help we need if we allow this to continue. Educate yourselves and vote appropriately, pay attention, read the paper, the Patch and any other news you can about the candidates, you will see where their priorities lie. I have not seen any of them out in the real world dirtying their hands and helping our their community/district that was hit by a real disaster. I have seen the citizens of the community helping each other. NOT anyone in office or running for office. Shame on all of our elected County Commissioners.
Mike Caramico July 27, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Why is Pasco County getting involved in this, certainly everyone knew from the floods of May 1988 that the whole area was flood prone, even the developers knew it, they should be held responsible. Pasco County can't afford to bailout every flood problem created by greedy builders that know better, that area should not have been developed as a residential area without major drainage improvements. Would have been a great place for a Water Park.

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