Tropical Storm Nestor adds more rain to already flooded Gotha community

"It's just heartbreaking that we can't go back home," homeowner says

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Driveways in Gotha were flooded after rainfall from Tropical Storm Nestor.

News 6 has followed the situation in Gotha for more than a month, as residents blame new nearby housing developments and interstate expansion for rising water levels that have forced people out of homes.

"The water had gone down just a little bit, and just came right back instantly with the rain we got," resident Paul DeHart said. "It doesn't have to rise much more, and I won't be able to get in and out [of the driveway], which will effectively take away my house."

Mary Fernandez and her husband were forced out of their home because of flooding months ago. They've been staying with their daughter and stopped by during the rain to grab some clothes.

"It's coming up and tomorrow it will be worse because the day after the storm is when it rises," she said. "We haven't been able to move out anything. We've only gotten some personal belongings, and we come back and we pick up stuff."

News 6 captured a time-lapse video over just 12 minutes, which shows the wind pushing plants across the lake, as it inches closer to DeHart's home.

Gotha Flooding Timelapse

TIMELAPSE: Keep an eye on Lake Nally in the distance -- rising water levels and wind are pushing the plants on the water now... Gotha Floods (This was shot over a mere 12 minutes)

Posted by Clay LePard News 6 on Saturday, October 19, 2019

"It's constant stress between us and our neighbors and our house," DeHart said. "This is all you think about."

Neighbors are still hoping county leaders will get results and save these homes.

"My mindset is we're coming back and the county is going to own up to that, and they're going to get me my house back," Fernandez said.

County leaders have previously told News 6 they're in the process of collecting data to figure out where this water is coming from and what can be done.

About the Author:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.