Crews work to alleviate flooding in Pasco

With frustration building in Pasco County after more than three weeks of floods in some communities, county workers set out Monday to try to assure residents they're doing everything they can to help.

Doug Tobin, a Pasco County spokesperson, took members of the media on a tour of parts of the Bass Lake Watershed, a series of bodies of water that are all partially responsible for flooding neighborhoods like Bass Lake and Crane's Roost.

"Last event that we had this bad was in 2003 and the water in the Bass Lake area stayed for eight weeks," Tobin said. "We're hoping that some of the efforts that we're doing will make it so it's not an eight week event, but maybe cut that in half."

Tobin explained one of the biggest problems is that water typically flows into the Bass Lake Watershed. As a result of the record rainfall that began more than three weeks ago, several lakes and other waterways overflowed into the communities.

Complicating matters more: an area of the watershed that typically helps with the flow of water out of those neighborhoods is also full. There's nowhere for the water to go.

To combat those issues, crews have installed about a mile of pumps and pipes to force the water to flow the other direction.

"The natural water flow is from west to east and we're trying to reverse that pattern from east to west," Tobin said.

Neighbors in flooded areas, however, aren't optimistic that the county's solutions will quickly solve their problems.

"You can try to do something but unless you succeed, it's just a waste of money," said Anthony Hedges, who lives in Bass Lake. "So unless I see the results of it not coming in our neighborhood then I'm not doing to be behind it."

County workers are also picking up flood debris during the next three weeks. Residents should put items out at the curb, separated into five categories: furniture, metal items, construction, vegetation and hazardous materials.