Anclote River flooding further threatens homes

- Brielle D'Ascenzio has lived in her Elfers neighborhood for five years. Hurricane Irma was her third bout with flooding. She and her boyfriend, Chris Konow, weren't shocked to see the water level rise to the height of two-story home.

"The river is definitely higher than it usually is," said Konow. "This happens periodically, from time-to-time, it's not necessarily a hurricane that set this off right here. It's definitely pretty high."

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office says the water crested the height of the Anclote River Tuesday night. That means, at one point, the water level in the neighborhood was at least 26 feet.

"They lose everything in their homes like everything gets washed out because it comes up 26 feet," said D'Ascenzio. "I know there's a couple houses back there that are on stilts, but the ones that aren't, they get washed away. You can try to grab as much as you can when you're leaving but, you can't get everything."

“The maximum dollar amount that FEMA will pay out on any type of type of disaster on the individual assistance level is, the homeowner level, is $36,000," said Kevin Guthrie, Pasco's Assistant County Administrator for Public Safety. "They are not a stop-gap for insurance. If you had no insurance on your home the most you’re ever going to get from FEMA is $36,000.”

Fortunately, for D’Ascenzio, her home sits high enough on the property and avoided the flood. Some of her neighbors, though, aren’t so lucky. 

"Yeah, I definitely do feel for them," she said. "We were very fortunate to have the property that we have, that it doesn't flood. But, for the people who don't, they need help, they need supplies and stuff, they lost it all."

Tuesday, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office was out on their high water rescue vehicles delivering supplies to people still stuck in their homes. D'Ascenzio says deputies were out in the neighborhood every night before Hurricane Irma hit the Bay Area to try and get people to evacuate.

The county says most of those who evacuated went to the Fasano Hurricane Shelter in Hudson. They'll have at least another 24 hours there should they need it. County officials say they won't release them until they make sure they have a safe place to go back to.

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