Pasco neighbors question eviction after flood

NEW PORT RICHEY - Judging by the deep puddles in the road and standing water in yards, you'd think the flooding in the Walden Pond mobile home park is pretty bad. As it turns out, it's the best the neighborhood has looked in weeks.

"It never came in over the threshold of my front door, it came up through the floorboards," said neighbor Shane Jumper.

Tropical Storm Debby brought a great amount of flooding to the New Port Richey neighborhood, causing a central pond to overflow to dangerous levels. Since then it's been a constant battle to dry out, complicated by daily rains.

Then just when neighbors thought it couldn't get any worse, they received a notice.

"It said we had to move out by the 31st," said neighbor Thomas Nelligan.

That notice caught many tenants off guard, citing ongoing utility issues and a decline in residency as reasons for the evictions.  It gave neighbors barely two weeks to get out.

"We're on a fixed income. By the time we pay our bills, we're lucky if we got $40 for the month," said neighbor John Dincontro.

Walden Pond residents simply want more time to move, and say the seemingly unending clean-up from the storm has already set some of them too far back financially to afford a move. 

All of our calls to the property owner have gone unanswered, and neighbors say theirs have as well.

"He can't just throw them out like that, he needs to come here and take care of his property," said neighbor Donna Griffin.

FEMA is now assisting some residents in finding new places to live, while others say they plan to fight the eviction.

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