Creek cleanouts continue in Seminole County a year after Hurricane Ian

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — When Hurricane Ian hit last year, Seminole County creeks and rivers were the highest they have ever been due to tremendous flooding countywide.


A year later, crews continue to work to clean the debris out of waterways to prevent future flooding. Huge trees came down creating dams.

“Our rivers and creeks in the county were at the highest that we’ve ever seen not only velocity, but you know, the height,” says Seminole County Public Works Manager Marie Lackey.

READ: Hurricane Ian’s impact still felt along Volusia County coastline

With funding from FEMA, crews were hired six months after Ian to clean the waterways of trees and roots.

“We’re making the rivers and creeks go back to their natural flow area,” Lackey said

READ: Looking back: Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida one year ago

In Winter Springs, where clogged up creeks caused major flooding in areas as well as the failure of several bridges, crews just wrapped up debris cleanup. The city used $300,000 in NRCS grants in which they had to pay 20% to clean up debris along their portions of the Gee Creek and Howell Creek. Today the water was flowing after 52 days of debris cleanup.

“I think overall, we looked at 24,000 linear feet of debris that was removed,” says Matt Reeser, Communications Officer for the City of Winter Springs.

READ: Frustrated with repeat flooding along Cross Prairie Parkway, residents ask Osceola County to step up

Reeser says city leaders are looking at annual maintenace of the creeks to make sure they don’t have anymore problems.

“I spoke with a lot of residents, we would get some heavy rains here in the afternoon, just typical stuff. And it would cause them a lot of anxiety,” Reeser said. “We understand. And you know, for a lot of it, it’s just managing to keep the water flowing.”

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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.

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