Residents of Shore Acres are 'living in a fish bowl'

SHORE ACRES, Fla - Shore Acres, an area of Pinellas County prone to flooding, is being likened to 'living in a fishbowl' by residents after Tropical Storm Debby pounded the area with rain Sunday night.

Wendy Arnold took off to spend the night at a friend's house but left her cat, Aerial, behind to brave the storm.  Arnold returned Monday morning to get her furry friend.

"We are going back to get her," said  Arnold.  "We are going to wrap my furniture. We have some cinder blocks in the car but there is just no way to get them there to raise the furniture up."

Arnold is renting a home and took a kayak to her house Sunday night. She ended up wading back in waist deep water.

Driving a car was an option for residents but not a wise choice.  On Shore Acres Boulevard NE, a Chrysler Sebring is submerged in almost three feet of water.  In some area, the water is up to five feet, but drivers are still plowing through sending waves of water into homes.

Some residents have even put up signs that say, 'no wake zone.'

Arnold told ABC Action News her friend helped rescue a stranded motorist.

"The car started filling up with water to her waist and the electrics went down and she couldn't get out through her door or window and my friend helped her get out.  She had to crawl out a window," Arnold explained.

Like Arnold,  her neighbors are turning to rafts, kayaks and anything that will float to reach dry land.

ABC Action News spotted Patrick Ryan picking up his friend in an orange kayak.

"Just a two person kayak, that is the way to do it," explained Ryan.  "If a car comes in here you are going to screw it up bad."

Emily Vaultonburg walked two blocks in knee deep water while carrying her baby Ellie.  Vaultonburg was out of town when the storm hit and came home to water up to her front door.   The family was unable to drive their car up to the house, leaving behind much needed diapers and baby food.

"We are actually going to get diapers," she said.

Vaultonburg lived in the area growing up and told ABC Action News she has only seen flooding this bad once before.

Emma Bennett, 9, and her brother were brought to dry land by their mother via an inflatable raft.  Her mother dragged the raft down the block by rope.

"It is amazing because I have never been in a big flood," said Bennett.   "It is funny because some people down at the other end were taking pictures like a truck literally stopped and took pictures and I was literally so embarrassed."

Some residents are without cable. As of noon, there were crews in the area trying to make repairs.  However, the area did not lose electrical power unlike the 6,300 services outages reported in other parts of Pinellas County.

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