Water district looking into local fish camp's flooding concerns
ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla -- More than 20 inches of rain in the North Central Florida area is causing a problem for some. Last week we brought to you the story of a business which is being threatened by flooding… Today, we show you how the state is looking into the problem.
You can't even see the dock outside of Kate's Fish Camp. Flooding is something they're very familiar with. But this business is hoping to put a stop to this at all cost.
Mike and Monica carter own Kate's Fish camp in Alachua County... This is also where they live. The Carters tell me it used to take a hurricane for them to flood, but now regular rain does the trick. "I had a foot of water inside my house for a week," said Mike.
A water district rule restricts the flow of water from the Prairie Creek into Paynes Prairie. The majority of that water is redirected to Orange Lake, which is man-made. The Carters believe this is causing the backup, and they just wish things could flow naturally instead
Monica said, "It's blocked by this 30 foot wide road that's 10 feet high called track 13 or cones dike, that holds the water back on us. And it's all the way to the top on one side but there's plenty of room on the other side."
The St Johns River Water Management District met with the carters to inspect areas downstream of State Road 20 and took a look at the problem. Mike says he feels frustrated due to the lack of answers. "If you don't know, I want you to tell me truthfully. I don't want you to tell me it could be this it could be that," Mike said.
St. Johns says they found no obstructions to the flow. They say they will now partner with park staff and look into making some changes that would keep the fish camp from flooding… As long as it doesn't push water on to nearby properties.
Barbara Hatchitt a scientist for the St. Johns River Water Management said, “The approach is to look at the overall system. I can’t say whether the overall approach is going to have a permanent cure for you.”
On the verge of flooding, the carters hope the answers come before water touches their doorstep once more. "But really this is our home. We've been here forever. I am not holding out anywhere. I love here. I love this place. And I won't go anywhere, unless I have to," Mike said.
St. John's River Water Management District says they are committed to look over the whole system and hopefully find something that works for everyone involved.
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