Flood waters beginning to recede in Pasco County

Flood waters in Pasco County continued receding Wednesday, loosening their grips on yards, homes and people's lives.

County officials said if all goes well, the Anclote River could be back to normal levels by late Saturday night. This week the water rose to 23 feet, but has since gone down.

Residents are being cautioned that more heavy rains, which are expected, could make the river quickly rise again.

"Some of the flood waters have receded substantially. As long as we don't get more heavy rains, we should be able to see the flood waters continue to recede," said Doug Tobin, a county spokesperson. "If you live around those areas that have been flooded in the last week, you really need to keep an eye on the forecast, you need to keep an eye on the river just in case things change because the [ground] is so saturated that if things do change, it's going to change in a hurry."

One of the hardest hit areas is the Elfers community, where more than 30 homes and half a dozen businesses were flooded.

As of Wednesday afternoon, several roads in that neighborhood that were under water were passable.

"This was a river. It was a river that just kept on going," added Elfers resident Marion Besio, referring to her yard and the road in front of her home. "I'm really relieved [that the water has gone down] because I like it here."

Mike Sawyer, one of Besio's neighbors, also feels relief but knows that feeling might be fleeting.

"Every time that it rains real hard or storms come, it just floods here," he told FOX 13. "If it doesn't quit raining, it's going to do it again. It's going to come back up...and then it will be an issue. I don't know whether we'll have to get out of here or not, but once the power goes off, that's the end of it."

In the meantime, county officials are keeping an eye on residents, along with other areas of concern.

"We're starting to get reports of soft roads or asphalt that is cracking in and around Pasco County where we had some of the heavier flood waters," Tobin explained.

Authorities continue to urge people to stay out of the flood waters, which could be filled with bacteria and wildlife. Some neighbors reported finding snakes and at least one alligator in their yards after the water receded.