DeBary residents raise concerns about water levels ahead of Irma

City of DeBary overhauls its storm water system, pumps not ready yet

DEBARY, Fla. – As Central Florida is preparing for the possible effects of Hurricane Irma, residents in one Volusia County neighborhood are worried the storm could bring widespread flooding.

For Geri Bennett, the anticipation is bringing back memories of her street from nine years ago.

"It was very, very traumatic.  I was out of the house for seven months and the house was gutted," Bennett said.

In 2008, rain from Tropical Storm Faye caused lakes to over flow and brought water inside homes in DeBary Country Club and the Glenn Abby subdivision.

Since then, the City of DeBary has overhauled their storm water system, which includes a series of pumps, but the pumps are not yet running.

"It's going to take days to pump this lake down," Bennett said.  "It's not going to be an overnight project."

City officials said the pumps are not yet running because of repairs being made to a 36-inch water main along Highbanks Road.

"Our main line is broken, it'll be finished (Tuesday) afternoon we hope," Mayor Bob Garcia said.  "At that time, we're going to start pumping."

Garcia said the delay should not have a major impact on draining lakes ahead of a potential impact from Irma, but other options are available if repairs aren't completed in time.

"The city of Debary is better prepared now than it was five (or) 10 years ago," Garcia said.  "We can manage the water better."

While the city is monitoring the storm's projected path, Garcia said workers are also watching lake levels, and doing whatever they can to stop a repeat of flooding from 2008.

"Are we going to prevent it all?  No, no one can guarantee that to you, but we are going to try," Garcia said.

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