Flooded yards in Pasco getting pumping relief

Numerous complaints led to county response

LAND O' LAKES, Fla. - After a year of complaining, residents along Parkway Boulevard in Land O' Lakes finally had enough.  A failed drainage pipe led to constant flooding of backyards and streets, and the situation was compounded by Tropical Storm Debby in June.

After calls to Pasco County Stormwater Management went unresolved, one resident contacted ABC Action News about the problem. 

Within a day, a storm pump was installed to move standing water away from backyards and into the drainage system.

"It could have happened a year or more ago," said a frustrated Jeff Thurwall, who said county inaction nearly left his living room under water.  "It's a disaster.  I can never understand bottom line why they didn't pump to relieve the stress," he said.

Stormwater Management director Mike Garrett responded via email about the problem.

"We are setting up a pump," Garrett said.  The drainage pump was installed Tuesday evening, and was working to remove standing water that's led to an invasion of alligators, snakes, mosquitoes, and birds, according to residents.

Laura Hayhurst said the water kept her entire family indoors, especially her young daughter.  

"She's not able to go back here and play." Hayhurst said. 

"We've got to keep her inside.  Our dog can't even come and run around the yard.  So it's really affected all of us, the whole family," she said.

Her husband, Jim Hayhurst, was considering hiring an attorney to get some action on the drainage.  

"The last time it flooded, nobody cared," he said.  "They called me and said well, we're sorry, there's nothing we can do right now.  All our pumps are tied up for the next eight weeks."

Still, a pump is working in the neighborhood now.  But residents have long term concerns.  The failed drainage pipe suspected of causing the flooding is still broken, and right now there's no plan to repair it.  

Thurwall said getting the pipe fixed could be a new battle altogether.

"We're not a priority," he said.

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