Osceola County

Lake Toho water levels start to come down

ST. CLOUD, Fla. — Lake Toho is expected to crest on Friday, more than a week after Hurricane Ian dumped over a foot of rain in Central Florida.

The milestone could worsen flooding in some Osceola County neighborhoods.


People who stayed in their homes after Hurricane Ian hit last week have watched the water levels slowly rise.

About 100 feet of floodwater separate Catherine Gowan from the entrance of her home.

Read: ‘We’re not going to have anything’: Lake Toho to crest soon, causing more issues for Jade Isles

“I live in the middle of a lake,” she said.

Gowan lives in the Jade Isle Senior Community in St. Cloud and in the aftermath of Ian, she has watched as levels in East Lake Toho have continued to rise and creep up toward her home.

The city says East Lake Toho crested Thursday evening and Lake Toho is expected to peak Friday. With water continuing to rise, officials have asked about 4,000 people to evacuate.

Read: Disaster refugees expected in Central Florida, officials warn

In the meantime, they’ve partnered with South Florida Water Management District to use temporary pumps to drain water away from the lake, but it might be too late for seniors like Gowan.

“Everything is going to be a total loss,” Gowan said. “Which means we’re not going to have anything. And we’re seniors so we don’t have the money to go anywhere. So it’s scary.”

Read: Be wary of shady, fake contractors following Hurricane Ian, officials say

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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.