WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) — People who have lived in Wesley Chapel for generations are worried they’re being pushed out by flooding, and no one is listening.
They say the flooding is caused by new construction along State Road 56 in Pasco County and the water simply has nowhere to go.
Since the development of State Road 56 three years ago, residents began to see the changes.
“The county is pushing all the water for 30 miles onto us, then putting it into a small ditch and saying that’s the way it supposed to be,” said Daniel Digeon, who lives on Upper Road in Wesley Chapel.
The ditch Digeon is referring to is the New River.
“It’s a river from 52 to 56 then it turns into a ditch,” he said
With more water pumped into it, Digeon said the water has nowhere go, which has flooded out his home and neighborhood. Now, he and his neighbors are desperately pleading for Pasco County to take action.
“They need to dig the ditch from here to pass the neighborhood,” said Digeon.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District sent crews out on Tuesday. It says Tropical Storm Nicole, brought the area four inches of rain, which contributed to the New River flowing over its banks. The river then breached the stormwater system that’s under construction and floodwater backed up into the neighborhood for several days. The district says contractors are working to repair the breaches and stabilize the system by Friday.
“40 years of and three generations we bought the land. We work the land and we use the land,” said Digeon.
It’s the land Digeon feels he’s slowly being pushed out of.
“We’re in panic mode we’re going to lose our homes,” he said.
The district said there’s what’s called an emergency field authorization, but the county would have to reach out and ask for emergency pumping, which is only requested and approved for declared emergencies.