MILTON, FL (WKRG) — A neighborhood east of Milton, off Highway 87 in Santa Rosa County, is still trying to dry out after last week’s torrential rain. Homeowners say it’s a nasty, disgusting situation, and they blame county engineers for the flooding problem.
“Financially, this is going to hit me hard,” said Robin Cooper. “Emotionally, it hits me harder. It’s taxing. I’m emotionally drained, I am. I hate to say it, but I’m emotionally drained.”
What’s not drained is Robin Cooper’s yard or her lower-level game room. And she’s terrified if it rains some more.
“If it rains again, it will end up in my house,” Cooper said.
Water from heavy rain early Friday morning has only barely receded by Monday afternoon.
“The water’s just sitting,” Cooper said. “It’s not draining. It’s not perking, it’s not moving. It’s not going anywhere.”
Cooper’s daughter Brittany Fretwell can barely stand in the backyard.
“This fence is a four-foot chain-link fence,” said Fretwell with water up to her chest. “I’m standing up. I’m 5’5”.”
Water usually drains from Cooper’s yard into a retention pond behind her property. Cooper and Fretwell say the county has not properly maintained the pond and its drainage system.
“They’ve had plenty of opportunity to fix this when there was no flooding issue,” Fretwell said.
“All they had to do was dig out the bottom of the pond and I wouldn’t be sitting in water today,” added Cooper.
Now the family feels like a prisoner in their own home.
“I can’t leave my home without wading through stench water with dead stuff in it,” Cooper said.
And Cooper is not alone, almost a dozen homes in her neighborhood are in a similar situation. There will be no celebrating this Fourth of July.
“My yard was beautiful, and we were fixin’ to have a cook out, a pool party, have a good time,” Cooper said.
County officials say they can’t pump the water out of the area because there’s no place to put it without endangering other homeowners. The Milton area saw almost 30 inches of rain in June.