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

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — People who live in one Osceola County neighborhood are fed up with flooded roadways.

Video shared by a Kissimmee Park Road resident captured flooding along Cross Prairie Parkway after a rainstorm Wednesday night.

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That water didn’t subside until well past noon the following day.

The developer said it was caused by clogged drains, but some residents had their doubts.

Longtime Osceola County resident Nelly Hernandez said Cross Prairie Parkway is a frequent trouble spot. The road offers the only way into and out of her community and she said that drainage is “a constant issue.”

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“I have to go through this water every single time it rains for a prolonged period of time,” said Hernandez. “It’s not even a hurricane and it’s flooded.”

Hernandez showed Eyewitness News videos she took of the same road flooded back in August of 2022.

Two months later she was among several Osceola County residents who brought flood concerns to county commissioners during an October 17, 2022 meeting.

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At the time, commissioners were considering a development that would bring 238 multifamily units to 30 acres of land just up Cross Prairie Parkway.

“Where do you think all that Cross Prairie road is going to go?  Right over wetlands. That stuff is designed to absorb problems and we’re just going to pile on top of that. Where does that water go?” questioned one resident during that meeting.

Hernandez told Eyewitness News she too suspects flooding is being made worse by the continued development on surrounding wetland.

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However, the developer, BTI Partners, said flooding was caused by drain pipes that became clogged from nearby construction.

According to the developer website, they are overseeing a “live, work, play” community that is currently approved for 5,200 residential units, as well as office space, commercial space, and more than 600 hotel rooms.

A BTI Partners spokesperson told Eyewitness News on Thursday that they were working with the county to clean out clogged drainage pipes.

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“We are collaborating closely with county inspectors and the adjacent homebuilders building along Cross Prairie Parkway to ensure the processes in place are being followed to prevent drainage pipes from becoming clogged again,” the spokesperson said.

Hernandez said she still wants the county to think about a long-term drainage fix.

“I think the responsible thing to do is that the county gets involved actually and starts overseeing what is really happening… eventually when the developer is done, there’s no more fixing it. The problem will be for the residents,” said Hernandez.

Eyewitness News reached out to Osceola County for comment. A county spokesperson told Eyewitness News that they were working on a response, but we have not heard back yet.

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