SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – People in a historic part of Seminole County say it floods every time it rains, and they believe the situation is getting progressively worse.
Midway is located just east of downtown Sanford. It’s situated between the Orlando Sanford Airport to the south, the St. John’s River to the east and Lake Monroe to the north.
Harold Jordan is a volunteer cook at the Midway Safe Harbor Center. He and his wife Mattie are both retired and serve up 700 meals per week to Seminole County students.
Married 40 years, in 2008 they bought a home in Midway, the community Mattie Jordan grew up in.
“There’s a lot of growth going on in this community, all around here,” Harold Jordan said.
The couple is passionate about their community and about its problems. Harold Jordan said one of the biggest problems is flooding.
When it rains, streets flood, yards flood and drainage ditches hit capacity, according to Harold Jordan. The flooding has gotten worse since newer neighborhoods have been built at a higher elevation than the older homes, Harold Jordan said.
“It creates a bowl, all the way around us, everywhere you go there’s a bowl,” Harold Jordan said. “We never had the problem of so much flooding in our area as we do now.”
District 5 Seminole County Commissioner Andria Herr has been in office less than one year.
“The flooding is real,” Herr said. “We need to resolve it.”
“Some of it is because the infrastructure in Midway is older and has not been maintained to the degree that it could have been,” Herr added.
The Midway community has been neglected over the years, according to Harold Jordan.
News 6 asked if this is an issue of a Black community not getting the attention it deserves.
“I can’t speak to the past. It is not an issue now,” Herr said.
Seminole County is investing in the area in a big way, according to Herr.
The county spent $250,000 for the Midway Basin Engineering Study Report. The goal is “to develop a stormwater master plan to help mitigate chronic flooding,” according to the report.
The plan is broken down into phases.
It includes constructing new stormwater facilities, replacing existing pipes and constructing a new eight-acre floodplain compensation pond — among other improvements — according to the report.
“Taking care of this community the way that it should be, I’m committed to it,” Herr said.
The county has also earmarked $10 million from the American Recovery Plan Act funds from the federal government, plus an additional $8.6 million from the county’s penny tax fund to go towards fixing the flooding, according to county officials.
“I think it will be a heck of a start,” Herr said. “Do I think it’s the end? No.”