Washington County residents see relief from flooding

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 6:13 PM CST
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Many Washington County residents have been dealing with rising water for years, and the residents say they’ve tried almost everything to keep the water out of their homes.

“We have made about 4,000 sandbags,” Washington County resident Charles Brown said. “We have a walkout basement, so the lake level at some point was almost level with our basement, so we started building sandbags trying to fight it back.”

Now, the county and state officials have joined together to come up with a possible solution, and the new operation begins by pumping water out of Piney Lake to Cox Lake.

“It’s going from one lake to a transfer lake, then to a water management property, where we hope it’s going to the river, lakes and of course going into the creek system into the Deerpoint lake area,” Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners Tray Hawkins said.

Officials say since the pipes were put to use, the water level has gone down six inches. One resident even says this operation has been the best Christmas gift he could have received.

“It has absolutely been amazing for this community in terms of uplifting spirits and providing hope,” Brown said.

However, this may not be a permanent solution. Officials say they will have to re-evaluate the pump on Jan. 4 and see how fast the water is coming back to the lake.

“If it’s not recharging, absolutely we will continue the operation, we’ll figure out an operation that fits that need,” Hawkins said.

For now, those who live around Piney Lake can enjoy the decreasing water levels.

According to Hawkins, the buyout program is continuing for those suffering from flooding issues, as well. Those interested in the buyout program can call the Washington County Board of County Commissioners at (850) 638-6200.

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