Flooding problems plague West Orange County neighborhood

Neighbors create Gotha Floods website to raise awareness

By Clay LePard - Reporter

GOTHA, Fla. - Over the last year or so, Stacey DeHart's driveway in Gotha has become more of a canal. 

"We cannot get mail or packages anymore, and forget pizza delivery," she said. 

Two acres of her Lake Nally Woods Drive property have been swallowed by water from Lake Nally.

"To see it sink is heartbreaking," she said. "We put our heart and souls into this property over the last two years." 

Her neighbors moved out two months ago. Water has already seeped into several parts of their ground floor, despite there being no major rainfall or flooding issues in the past few months elsewhere in the county.

"When we bought our properties, we did not have to buy any level of flood insurance," DeHart said. 

So where is the water all coming from, and why now? DeHart said she believes new nearby housing developments and even interstate expansion are likely to blame.

"There is water draining into our lake from other areas that it was originally not developed to take," she said.

Now, DeHart and her family, along with neighbors, are fighting back by creating a website called Gotha Floods, detailing the problems and lack of response they say they've had from local leaders.

"We are very disappointed by the response or non response we've received from our officials at all levels," she said. "You'd think they would protect you in a time of need, and they've really turned their back on us."

News 6 contacted Orange County leaders.

"Lake Nally is a private, not a public water body," a statement from county officials said. "The County is amenable to discussing options for the homeowners to undertake to alleviate any flooding on Lake Nally Woods Drive." 

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