CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — Some residents west of Dunnellon in rural Citrus County were stuck in their homes and others were looking for a new place to live Sunday after a main roadway to their homes flooded.
- Eric and Cheryl Ford's home has no power or running water
- Couple has spotted alligator in swimming in their flooded backyard
- Another Wahoo Trail resident says flooding is longtime problem
- ELSEWHERE: West Nile Risk on the Rise, Citrus County Health Officials Say
Eric and Cheryl Ford's home on Wahoo Trail has become an island in the floodwaters that have continued to rise during the past couple of days.
"It’s not just the rain, it’s actually the runoff from everybody’s yard, because this is the low point. There is no drainage. Everything flows here and just this is where it sits,” Cheryl Ford said.
The couple has no power or water, and many of the more than 50 animals they own are stranded on bits of dry land.
“We can’t even get to our horse trailer because the water is so deep," Cheryl Ford said. "We’d have to find someone with a big 4-by-4, but I still don’t think anyone could even get it out right now."
The water is also leaving the animals exposed to predators — the couple already has spotted an alligator swimming in their backyard.
“We’re an eighth of a mile from the lake. Alligators come in here all the time. Now with all this water, they just came in,” Eric Ford said.
The water that extends to the road by the Fords' house is too deep for some vehicles to get through. Because the road is one way, some people who live there aren’t able to get out.
Don Donley has lived on Wahoo Trail for 18 years and says the flooding is a problem they’ve been trying to get fixed for years.
“First one I saw was in 2003, and we were under water for like three months,” Donley said.
As for the Fords, they’re now looking for a new place to live.
“We need a place ourselves, along with all of our animals, because we’re not going to leave them behind,” Cheryl Ford said.
We asked the county what can be done to ease the flooding on Wahoo Trail.
“Water bodies in this area are managed by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. They have opened all the gates to minimize the water level. Unfortunately, the amount of water exceeds what can be carried," County Administrator Randy Oliver said in an email. "Citrus County Fire continues to monitor the area to ensure people are not in harm's way. If assistance is required, they will provide it to protect the safety of our citizens.”