NORTH PORT, FLA. — Officials with the City of North Port said the city is seeing "concerning levels" of flooding after Tropical Storm Elsa brought a significant amount of rain.
Josh Taylor, a spokesperson for the City of North Port, said the water could rise to a level not seen in the city in decades.
The water is nearly 4 feet deep on some roads.
Homeowners in neighborhoods like North Port Estates are seeing flooding. The area along the Myakkahatchee Creek Corridor is also at risk for flooding.
"I think our biggest concern though is people in these areas that have experienced water in the past, they’ve seen it rise and it falls before it has an impact. The problem is we’re going to see that and it’s going to continue to rise," said Josh Taylor, spokesperson for the City of North Port.
Taylor said a significant amount of rain fell on the city and on undeveloped acres of land to the north. Water is now traveling south through the city and will ultimately exit into Charlotte Harbor.
"If you go back and look at the radar, there was a huge band that just sat here over the city for about three hours. We have some of our gauges in town had about 11 inches dumped within about a three-hour period," said Taylor.
The city said huge improvements have been made to allow more capacity in the systems of canals and waterways, but areas could see a significant rise in levels over the next 72 hours. Taylor said it is not an issue with the system, but a capacity issue.
"Last night, we went to bed at 9:00 p.m., the road was dry. Today, there’s about ten inches of water and fish swimming down the street," said Charles Henson who lives in North Port.
Emergency crews are patrolling the area of North Port Estates and informing residents about the flooding. Electronic signs are being placed in some areas.
The city is opening a call center for any residents who have specific concerns about the flooding The number is 941-429-7169.
Taylor said they are asking residents in areas prone to flooding to consider voluntary evacuations as quickly as possible. Many roads in the impacted areas will not be passable. The city does have high water vehicles and has already had to make a few calls for service.
The City of North Port and regional partners with Sarasota County opened a shelter for residents at 8 p.m. at the Morgan Family Community Center located at 6207 West Price Boulevard North Port, FL 34291.
There is an area for pets. They must have a crate. Please bring whatever items you need to remain comfortable. The shelter has A/C, showers, and cots. Food will not initially be provided.