30 people evacuate homes in Pinellas

Posted at 11:44 AM, Jun 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-07 17:54:26-04

Largo PD and fire crews are assisting residents to safety. Emergency crews rescued more than 30 people Tuesday morning from their homes, using inflatable boats and going door to door.

The water is more than four feet deep in some areas of the mobile home park. Residents said they were fearful of what was in the water.

"A lot of people can swim but it's the contamination, the stuff in the water, you know. We're sitting right there," said John Ridge, who lives in one of the hardest hit area of the park.

The evacuation is voluntary, at this point.  However, some residents chose to stay behind because they said they were not allowed to take their pets at this time. At least 20 families opted to stay behind, fire leaders said.

'They asked if we wanted to evacuate and we were like no, because the dogs couldn't go so we just stayed here," said Shyanne Ward, a Mariners Cove resident.

Some families were able to grab their pets and walk to drier ground. Animal services also responded, giving people the options to leave their pets with them for temporary shelter, but everyone on site refused, Largo police tell ABC Action News.

Marco Solivar is one of those who refused to evacuate.

"Me and him, we been through a lot together," said Solivar, who used an inflatable boat to get himself and his dog Kilo to safety. "So I ain't going to leave him here."

Many of the residents cars are submerged in water.

Several people from Mariners Cove are sheltering in place, staying with friends or neighbors while others left the areas to find their own accommodations. About 20 people are taking advantage of a Red Cross shelter that was set up.  The shelter is at the Ross Norton Complex, 14265 MLK Ave, Clearwater FL.

Duke energy has shut down power to the affected area.  Pinellas animal control responded to offer assistance to residents with animals.  Sunstar EMS personnel were also on scene to assist residents.  PSTA is assisting with transport to the shelter.
Fire leaders said the water could recede within 24 hours.