ORLO VISTA, Fla. - Orange County commissioners approved a proposal Tuesday that will protect the Orlo Vista and Westside Manor communities from flooding.
During Hurricane Irma in September 2017, retention ponds in the area overflowed, which flooded 130 homes and led to 55 people being rescued.
Clarence Laster was evacuated from his home as it began to fill with water.
"When we opened the door, water rushed in and filled the whole house up with water," Laster said. "It was filled already, but down to our knees."
Laster said temporary fixes were put in place following the hurricane, but he was happy to hear about the county's permanent solution.
"I think it's a good idea," Laster said. "I think it might be a little bit overdue."
The $1.2 million project is funded 75 percent by FEMA, and the remaining $306,588 will be paid for by the county.
Records show the plan includes digging five retention ponds 62 feet deep to make more room for rainfall.
Existing pumps and pipes will also be replaced to protect the area against a 100-year storm event, according to the county.
Designing of the project will start in April and is expected to take a year to complete. Construction is expected to begin in April 2020 at the earliest, but a timetable for completion hasn't been determined.
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