Lakeland Residents point finger at Polk Co. for flooding

Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 17:13:54-04

Lakeland families were left picking up today, after major flooding hit Polk County Monday afternoon.

But, residents living along Canon Street, say this is not the first time they’ve flooded.

For the last ten years, those living along the rural route, say every time it rains drainage is an issue. And this time, it was as bad as it’s ever been.

“18 inches at the house and three feet out by the mailbox,” Warren Harasta showed ABC Action News where the flood waters rose the day before.

Murky water, which almost looks like it belongs there, was still standing in the back of Harasta’s yard. Trash, cans, and even feces filled the backyard. Harasta says the entire neighborhood drains into his yard, and whatever else comes with the water.

Polk County Waste Management was out in the neighborhood to assess the amount of garbage on Canon Street and told neighbors that the drainage areas hadn’t been clean in years.

That was contrary to what Road and Drainage told ABC Action News, claiming they had checked on the area just a month prior.

“Flooded that car, flooded that car, they are both ruined,” Harasta shared pictures of his car, which had water up to its seat.

That car and another car he didn’t have insured, is now totaled. Among the losses, TVs and flooring in his son’s bedroom. And Harasta isn’t alone, Harasta’s next-door neighbor is left picking up the trash in their yard too.

“I’m really mad because they don't do nothing that's the reason,” Saul Rosaules, says his mother’s air conditioner is ruined, their washer and dryer broken after rains came up and into their home.

Rosaules says they’ve also complained numerous times to the county, but nothing ever seems to get done.

“My family had to pick all of the trash up,” he says.

Polk County Emergency Operations were out early Tuesday morning to assess the damage.

Red Cross was in touch with the families to see if they were in need.

Jay Jarvis, with Polk County Road and Drainage told ABC Actin News that they do have complaints noted from the past, but there isn’t much they can do.

Jarvis claims there was just too much rain, and that it came too fast. He also says the system can’t handle that amount of rain water and even bigger piping wouldn’t do the trick.

Waste Management did offer to bring out a water bin so neighbors could clean up the trash from the remaining flood waters.