Eye on the Tropics

Residents near Seminole County lakes desperate for water to recede

Seminole County, Fla. — In the wake of Hurricane Irma, residents living near Lake Harney are asking people to drive slow through flooded streets.

"Some people come really fast through here and I've requested a No Wake Zone sign form the sheriff's department to see if they can come put that up here,” said resident Sarah Procell.

She added that they are going on eight days without power, but she’s grateful the flood waters haven’t reached her home.

"You can see we have a couple more feet, so it's going back down. I'm just hoping we don't get any more hurricanes and no more rain," said Procell.

The water smells of stagnant lake, dead fish and sewage.

Robert Rogers was trekking through it Monday morning to get to his parents’ house.

"It's a lot. I have never seen this much water here. I've only been here the last five years," said Rogers.

Over the weekend, Jason Kaiser's sump pump was working overtime to keep the water away from his home.

"We are trying to keep the structures from having settling, and you don't have the issues to deal with later and keep everything dry,” said resident Jason Kaiser.

Even after the St. John's River crests, residents know it will be some time before things are back to normal.

At least another two weeks, but if it drops down another foot it will be where we can get our cars out of the driveway."

As expected, the water continues to move north.

At Lake Jessup, people have started to evacuate their homes because of the rising water.

Resident Denise Grasso said the wind that passes over Lake Jessup is not helping.

It causes the water to crash along the shorelines and overflow the lake’s banks, submerging docks.

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Backyards are no longer visible as the water creeps closer to homes.

“We’ve been nervous. We’ve sandbagged as much as we can,” said Grasso.

So far, the water hasn't come up to her home, but she thinks it's just a matter of time.
"We are pretty confident now it's going to come over. We are waiting until the last minute because we don't want to evacuate," she said. "We've got three dogs and a cat. It's not an easy evacuation."

Several residents have left for higher ground.

Residents near Lake Jessup would like to know when the lake will crest.

Laker Harney has already crested, but the St. John’s River has not.

County officials said it may crest Monday night.

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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.

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