Gotha residents worry Elsa’s rainfall could increase flood risk

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A west Orange County neighborhood is fearing the rainfall totals that Tropical Storm Elsa may bring.

“When the rain starts the water goes up so quickly and it’s very scary for all of us out here. You just don’t know where it will stop,” Gotha resident Stacey Dehart said.

READ: Elsa live updates: Storm expected to strengthen into hurricane before making landfall

Dehart and her husband purchased their home on more than four acres of land, but now nearly two acres has turned into unusable wetlands. With the threat of Elsa looming, she said, it can only get worse.

They said they’re worried about the rising water impacting not only their in-laws’ quarters, but their main home.

See: Tropical system terms explained

Their home backs onto Lake Nalley, a body of water the county considers private property and not part of a county stormwater management system.

With all the recent rain, the lake has nearly covered a nearby dock and Dehart wonders what’s next.

“We brought in many many dumploads of limestone hoping to build our driveway up enough that we can drive in and out of our property safely. In the past it would get so deep that our cars would break down,” Dehart said.

Read: Tracking Elsa: How to stay informed about the storm

Karen Parks,

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.