Flooding concerns rise as Lake Monroe set to crest; Lake Harney may soon recede

Historic flooding will continue for weeks, emergency officials say

Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris said Monday afternoon that historic flooding throughout the area is expected to continue for weeks.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris said Monday afternoon that historic flooding throughout the area is expected to continue for weeks.

Lake Monroe, the third lake that the St. John’s River flows north through in Central Florida, after Lakes Harvey and Jessup, will crest later this week at 8.5 feet above sea level, according to Harris.

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Lake Harney, he added, likely already crested.

But the flooding across the Geneva area is devastating and widespread.

Two floors of Pam Sanders’ three-story home are under water along N. Jungle Road.

“We came out with a 77-year-old heart patient, an 11-month-old boy and three dogs but the oldest dog, a 15-year-old dog, he has cancer in the cyst, it opened and got river water in and he’s getting an infection,” Sanders said. “So while he’s not in pain, at two o’clock we’re putting him down. So that’s where we’re going now. Then we’re going to go back and try and get a few more things out.”

Sanders and her neighbors can only get to their homes with boats. They’ve done everything they can to try and protect their houses at the edge of Lake Harney but it’s not enough.

While flooding begins to decrease in certain parts of Seminole County, emergency officials warn some families remain in response mode as the water continues to rise. In Geneva, near Lake Harney floodwaters have covered streets and rushed into homes.

“We lived on this river 30 years, it’s never been like this,” Sanders said. “We built the dam, we bought a huge Aqua Dam that makes a donut around our house... the water crested right over it.”

Seminole County, using National Guard 6x6 vehicles, has been evacuating people who want to leave, which as of Monday, totals 17 households and 33 people. The county has told everyone to leave but some have chosen to stay.

County officials are also providing tarps, food and water.

County officials said they are concerned about increased flooding along the St. Johns River, Lake Harney, Lake Jesup and Lake Monroe as tributaries flow into these bodies of water.

Several neighbors delivered the supplies to residents of Jungle Road and others helped distribute them.

“That’s what Geneva is,” Sanders said. “If you look around, there aren’t a lot of neighborhoods like this. Everybody comes down here, says, ‘Can I take a canoe and help you?’ We have people we didn’t know walking to our house saying, ‘Give me a bag, I’ll get things out of your house and leave them up on the street for you.’”

Harris said the Old Geneva Fire Station still has sandbags, as does Wayside Park in Sanford.

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About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.