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Apopka residents frustrated by neighborhood flooding

todaySeptember 22, 2022 2

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A flood of problems is causing headaches for people in Clear Lake Estates in Apopka, and neighbors say the situation has gone from bad to worse over the last five years.

What You Need To Know

  •  Residents in Clear Lake Estates in Apopka say rising lake levels are causing their yards to flood

  •  They say the situation has only gotten worse over the past five years

  • Apopka’s city engineer says there’s not much that can be done until the flooding moves beyond their yards and starts to affect the residents’ homes

“For this to happen, I’m telling Mr. Mayor, ‘Fix it,'” resident Venus Griffith said. “This is disgusting, this is unhealthy, and this is not called for.”

Griffith and her husband live in Clear Lake Estates, which adjacent to Clear Water Lake in Apopka.

In February 2018, the walkway and area surrounding the community playground and gazebo right next to the Griffith’s backyard was clear.

By October 2021, the situation changed and the water from the lake began to push back closer to her home. Griffith and her husband have lived in the community for more than a decade, but she says over the past two weeks, the flooding has gotten worse.

“My grandson wants to come and play at the playground, and I say, ‘We can’t,'” she said. “He is 6 — you know what he says? ‘Grandma, this is a mess … you need to fix it, grandma.’ I said, ‘I’m trying.'”

At Wednesday’s Apopka City Council meeting, the city engineer explained that there is not much that can be done until the water level rises to a point that they begin to impact the home’s floor level. That means the water would have to rise to about six feet, but some on the commission weren’t pleased with that answer.

“Effectively, we are waiting for an emergency permit to damage somebody’s property, then we will get a permit,” said commissioner Nick Nesta. “So I’d rather not get to that point.”

He said it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have this kind of issue when they city hasn’t received an abnormal amount of rain.

“This is average rainfall,” he said. “We haven’t gotten a hurricane, we haven’t gotten a tropical storm, depression, and we are seeing these issues.”

When she moved in 15 years ago, Griffith said there were hundreds of trees. But now, she said, the shade is quickly dying

“We have 64 trees we lost back here,” said Griffith.

Mainly, she doesn’t want anything to happen to the home she and her husband worked so hard for.

“I’m a citizen of Apopka — I love Apopka,” she said. “But I don’t like this mess out here this drainage out here is all full.”

Griffith said she feels like no one cares because the problem is just getting worse, but she hopes the area will be drained and some normalcy restored after fighting this battle for five years.

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