Orange County

‘It keeps rising’: Deltona floodwaters continue to creep toward homes after back-to-back hurricanes

DELTONA, Fla. — People across Deltona said they’ve watched as floodwaters continue to rise.

The problem started weeks ago after Hurricane Ian, but for some, it has only gotten worse since Hurricane Nicole.


The city said they are doing all they can to move water away from homes, but with so many impacted areas and so many lakes at capacity, the city manager said in some cases there’s not much more they can do.

Juan Otero said since Ian, water has continued to creep closer to his home.

Read: Deltona residents alarmed by holes forming after flooding from Hurricane Ian

“It keeps rising. Every day, more and more and more,” he said.

Otero said there’s a house up the block that’s now surrounded by water, as the wetland behind his home continues to expand outward.

“I’m worried about my house and I’m worried about other people,” he said.

On the other side of the wetland, Deltona city workers are laying 1,100 feet of pipe to drain water into Lake Louise, but whether it’ll be enough to stop the water from taking over Otero’s yard is still a big question.

Read: Orlo Vista residents to wait another hurricane season before effects of $23M flood relief plan

“I want the city to do something. Take care of it. Thats what I want the city to do,” said Otero.

Interim City Manager James Chisolm said the city brought in pipes from across Central Florida to help. They are pumping water to both isolated lakes and the St. Johns River, but the biggest trouble spots now are low-lying areas that don’t always have a built-in drainage point.

“If you happen to own the property or houses adjacent to those areas. you are going to be wet,” Chisholm said. “Normally it wouldn’t happen but when you have a high water table, and then we have a hurricane and then a second hurricane, nobody can plan for that.”

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Chisolm said over 18 inches of rain came down with Ian and most bodies of water in Deltona are at capacity. It means there’s not always a place to drain water away from homes.

“We are doing everything we can, but there’s not much we can do for some areas,” said Chisolm.

Chisolm said right now water is receding, but it does take time. He said anyone who is seeing water rise outside of their home should call City Hall so public works can investigate whether pumping can be done.

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Sarah Wilson

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.

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