Seminole County working on improvement plan to prevent future flooding in Geneva neighborhood

10 months ago 209

GENEVA, Fla. – After Hurricane Ian hit last September, John Carter showed News 6 how deep the water was on his street by taking us through on a boat. His driveway looked like a river leading out to Lake Harney.

As days passed after the storm and water flowed through the St. Johns River, dark water came into Carter’s house on Whitcomb Drive.

“Hopefully when the county comes and raises the road we won’t have to wade as deep for the next storm,” Carter said.

Seminole County started working on an improvement plan to fix prolonged flooding on Carter’s street after Hurricane Irma in 2017. This Thursday, the Public Works team plans to host another public meeting in Geneva to update the community on the project, and what needs to be done to move it forward.

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The county’s concept includes raising the minimum road grade from 7.1 feet to 9.1 feet, constructing additional cross culverts, upsizing existing culverts and improving driveway pipes and ditches.

In order to do this, they need to acquire the right of way along the road and outfall from property owners.

A presentation packet posted on the County’s website addresses the challenge of easement acquisitions. A map of the Whitcomb Drive area shows 47 parcels included in the project – nine responded “no” to the easement agreements.

Robert and Denise Rogers have lived in their home on Whitcomb Drive since 2012. They say they do have some concerns about the proposed plan, but they are keeping an open mind.

“They’re going to be putting four new drainage culverts coming from Jungle Road across and pointing at the canal at our house here, which is going to mean more water coming to our house directly,” Denise Rogers said. “We don’t need more water.”

The Rogers are still rebuilding after Hurricane Ian. They say water flowed through their property from the lake, but never got into their main living space.

“We are still waiting on a roof,” Denise Rogers said. “We are just getting to the point where we are able to, you know, settle everything with insurance companies.”

They also saw flooding in 2017 after Hurricane Irma.

The Rogers agree there is a problem, but they question whether the county’s proposed plan is the right solution.

“There are no levies in this part of the river system,” Denise Rogers said. “I’d like to see more flood management so that we are able to control better the water that comes into Lake Harney.”

They plan to attend this week’s public meeting and listen to the county’s presentation again.

“We’re both open minded,” Robert Rogers said. “If you present us with a good, clear plan, you know that addresses all the concerns, we’re ok.”

Details from Seminole County on the upcoming meeting are below:

When: Thursday, Sept. 21 from 6 – 7p.m.

Where: Danville Bed and Breakfast located at 232 North Jungle Road in Geneva

Public feedback is also accepted online.

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