‘I can’t handle it’: Dade City residents say county is doing little to help with flooding issues in their neighborhood

Pasco County

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Vicki Brandel has had enough. She and her husband, Robert, moved into their home in Dade City a few years ago and they loved it.

A few months ago, however, the property started flooding. Floodwaters have entered their home three times in the past two months.

“I had an antique table that my grandmother gave me. It’s over a hundred years old,” said Brandel. “The legs are ruined on it.”

Vicki and Robert Brandel in front of their sand bags.

The Brandel’s live off of Shore Drive in Dade City, right down the street from Fort King Road. They and other neighbors claim when construction on a new home on Fort King began, nearby properties began to flood.

Susanna Martinez Tarokh is with the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Tarokh says the agency did look into the issue and sent the following statement:

“According to our records, the district did investigate and it appears a new driveway connection altered the existing Fort King curbing system allowing stormwater runoff from this roadway to be diverted between the lots through the neighborhood. Unfortunately this issue would need to be fixed with the single-family home contractor/builder and/or Pasco County. This neighborhood was constructed prior to the water management district’s environmental permitting process, so no permits would be needed from our agency to re-establish the roadway drainage system – this is an issue that the homeowner and county would need to work on together to resolve.”

Miguel Aviles is the Marine veteran who initially contacted 8 On Your Side about the flooding issue. Aviles recently went door to door in the neighborhood to see how many homes have been affected.

“Initially, I had estimated about eight homes based upon my discussion with neighbors,” he said. “But after canvassing I found there were 16 homes that were affected by this.”

Miguel Aviles, a retired Marine, doesn’t believe the county is doing enough.

Aviles and others don’t believe Pasco County is doing enough. Vicki Brandel believes if the shoe was on the other foot, things might be resolved more quickly.

“What I would like is for whoever is stalling it, for their house to flood,” said Brandel. “I hate to be mean, but I can’t imagine any county official who would live like this.”

If the problem isn’t resolved in the near future, she is planning on leaving.

“If it floods one more time, I’m leaving. I can’t handle it. Three times in a two-month period is more than I can handle,” she said. “So the stress level. It’s off the chart out here for everybody.”

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