Water pump kept idle near flood-weary neighborhoods in Pasco Co.

County officials delayed turning pump on
Posted at 7:05 PM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 19:05:13-04

Pasco County Emergency Management lifted the mandatory evacuation order for Bass Lake Thursday. 

It was the only remaining community under mandatory evacuation orders. 

Jamie Bottass and her flooded neighbors on Brookwood Drive say they’ve seen little effort by the county to get this street dry. 

“Frustrating and almost hopeless," said Bottass. "After two years in a row of this it’s almost like it’s going to seem routine and it shouldn’t be like that.”

While much of the neighborhood remains underwater, a tip led ABC Action News to a water pump turned off, not even one mile away. 

Reporter Ryan Smith went to Pasco County officials to find out why the pump sat idle Wednesday. 

And Thursday afternoon we found a public works employee on site making sure the pump was on and working. 

Senior Assistant Pasco County Attorney Jane Fagan said the delay was tied to the Ridge Road road expansion project to widen two lanes to four lanes. 

In an email sent late Thursday afternoon, Fagan states, "… the County has an ongoing dispute with the contractor for that project which it is in the process of resolving.  We did ask some initial questions of staff yesterday about how the activity would be performed to make sure we understood what impact if any, such activity would have on the project site." 

County officials researched Wednesday if pumping flood water into a retention pond off Ridge Road would impact project site and who is responsible, the county or contractor, for potential damages. 

While the pump is online now, Bass Lake neighbors are hoping the county can come up with a long-term fix. 

"It is extremely important to find out where the solution for this problem," said Bottass.