Orange County

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

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — After three years, Orange County is getting the OK to move forward with a flood relief plan for people in flood-prone Orlo Vista.

The area has undergone flood issues for years, from Hurricane Irma to most recently, Hurricane Ian.

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More than 100 homes in Orlo Vista were underwater when the storm hit.

The county just announced a partnership using Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money to complete a $23 million project by 2024. That means residents need to make it through another hurricane season before relief from the plan.

Read: Orange County leaders discuss plans to fix Orlo Vista flooding issues

The plan would help protect against a 100-year storm event of 14 inches in 72 hours. That would mean only about 8 to 10 of the homes that flooded would have been impacted by Hurricane Ian.

A large part of the plan focuses on three existing retention ponds. The county said it plans to make them hold more water by digging them 10-feet deep. Construction is set to start next year but won’t wrap up until 2024.

Read: ‘Nothing has been done’: Orlo Vista residents fed up with ongoing flooding issues

But Orlo Vista residents say the work can’t come soon enough.

“Officials need to be held accountable,” said Orlo Vista resident Eddie Ishmann-Davis. “Many times when you don’t live in the area, there’s little concern. But then there’s many empty promises. We are in the point now where individuals need to be held accountable and funds released to help those individuals.”

Read: ‘They didn’t care about us’: Orlo Vista residents frustrated with county’s response to Hurricane Ian

The county said in the meantime people are asked to continue to take action and make sure they have flood insurance and read through the policy. And if there’s an evacuation to pay attention to that and get sandbags.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

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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