Heavy rains, floods hit Hernando County

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BROOKSVILLE – Up to six inches of rain fell in Hernando County on Thursday evening, leading to traffic accidents, road closures and a few home evacuations.
A flooded street in Camper’s Holiday, Brooksville.

Floodwaters submerged cars in medians and sent sheds from a retail outlet drifting across Broad Street.

The National Weather Service issued flood watches for Hernando and Pasco Counties on Friday, and a flood warning for properties near the Little Manatee River in Wimauma.

Heavy rains late this week in Pasco led authorities to close about a dozen roads. On Jessamine Road in eastern Pasco, floodwaters washed out a road and formed a 30-by-30-foot hole.

In Hernando, about a dozen people spent Thursday night in an emergency shelter at the First United Methodist Church in Brooksville. Some of them live in Camper’s Holiday, a campground and mobile home community off of Culbreath Road in southern Hernando.

Richard Waterman, who lives a short distance from Sparkman Lake in Camper’s Holiday, said authorities turned off his electricity as water backed up in his yard.

His daughter, Darcy Waterman, said neighbors brought canoes to help ferry people to dry land.

“There’s not much we can do,” Darcy Waterman said. “I’m hoping and praying water does not get into that house.”

Similar weather was expected in coming days. Red Cross volunteers planned to remain in the area through the weekend.

This week, reports of flooded roadways were addressed with manpower and barricades, and law enforcement officials were stationed in flooded neighborhoods, Hernando County sheriff’s officials reported.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis called in seven extra deputies to help with storm-related calls on Thursday.

Brooksville Fire Chief Timothy Mossgrove said up to 70 homes in the city were damaged to varying degrees by Thursday’s rain, and one or two of them might be uninhabitable.

Several roads remained closed Friday afternoon: Rackley Road; the east end of Saturn Road; Clinton Road at Providence Boulevard; Fort Dade Avenue at Cobb Road; Daffodil Drive at Whisper Lane; and Lakeside Mobile Home Park.

Tampa Tribune staff writer Laura Kinsler contributed to this report.