Osceola County considers seizing senior community after flood from Ian

Good Samaritan has seen 3 major floods since 2006

First responders showed up to Good Samaritan to try to get as many residents out of the area as they could following the emergency evacuation zone declaration.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Good Samaritan Society in Kissimmee Village was still taped off on Friday because of the amount of standing water after Hurricane Ian.

Osceola County manager Don Fisher said the senior living community is in a floodway and that they’ve seen three major floods since 2006. The community was built on the banks of Shingle Creek.

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“If it were built today, it would not be able to get permits because it’s located within something called a floodway, so it has repeatedly flooded over the past years,” Fisher said.

Fisher told News 6 they are now discussing seizing Good Samaritan Society Kissimmee Village through eminent domain.

Fisher said the idea was first brought up in 2017 after Hurricane Irma flooded the senior living community.

But he said they are now tackling the issue more aggressively and are speaking with the county’s attorneys.

“We would approach the property owner to see if they would be willing to sell first; usually a voluntary sale is more appropriate, but if not, the government is given the ability to use eminent domain,” Fisher said.

The vice president of operations for Good Samaritan Society, Aimee Middleton, said in a statement emailed to News 6, “we have not had any communication with the county on this matter. We plan on continuing to collaborate with the county, and our shared goal remains the same – keeping residents safe. "

Meanwhile, residents have said they still haven’t been able to get back into their homes to survey the damage.

About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.