Some Citrus County roads flooded Tuesday morning and residents along the Withlacoochee River were asked to take precautions as 6 inches fell in a roughly 10-hour period.
The National Weather Service (NWS) on Tuesday placed Citrus County under a river flood warning for the Withlacoochee River at U.S. 41 in Dunnellon.
As of 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, the river was at 28.9 feet, just shy of flood stage at 29 feet. Forecasters said the river will rise above flood stage later Tuesday and continue rising to 29.5 feet early by Thursday morning.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday morning urged residents along the Withlacoochee River and Barge Canal to secure boats and refrain from swimming.
Homosassa Trail at South Lantana Drive had significant flooding as of 10 a.m. Tuesday. The U.S. 19 corridor from U.S. 98 to West Venable Street — which normally floods — was mostly clear except for retention ponds and medians that were filled with water.
James King sent a reporter photos of his flooded yard that he says came during the night Monday and early Tuesday morning storms from rainwater pouring down slopes on the Suncoast Parkway under construction.
King, who lives on South Millston Point off Grover Cleveland Boulevard in Homosassa, said he complained to the state during the last big downpour about a month ago and was promised something would be done.
"Every time it rains it comes down and right into my property," he said. "It sucks."
"Forty-five years here, never had the yard flood," he said. "Now this is the fourth time it's happened."
The state is looking into the matter, a Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman said Tuesday.
The heavy rain prompted the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) to open all its water-control structures on the Tsala Apopka chain of lakes. The goal is to move water out of the lakes as quickly as possible.
District rain gauges measured more than 6 inches of rain in some areas of the county since Monday night into Tuesday morning.
The Floral City and Inverness pools rose 7 inches overnight, while the Hernando pool rose 5 inches.
“This puts all the lakes, canals, and marsh areas in Tsala Apopka well above target levels and higher than we’ve seen for a long time,” Dr. Mark Fulkerson, SWFWMD chief professional engineer said. “Many of (the) docks and backyards will likely have water over them today.”
Sheriff's deputies Tuesday afternoon reported the following roadways with standing water:
- Homosassa Trail (from Rock Crusher Road to U. S. 19)
- West Emerald Oaks Drive, Crystal River (near Bayfront Health Seven Rivers Hospital)
- West Fishbowl Drive, Homosassa
- West Ozello Trail, Crystal River
- West Country Club Dr., Homosassa
Staff writer Mike Wright contributed to this report.