published: Friday, October 04, 2013
Water levels dropping in flooded LP area
By BARRY FOSTER
SEBRING -- A combination of drier weather and the relocation of a county pump is spelling relief for a number of residents in the Highland Park neighborhood.
"The water levels in that area are dropping," said Highlands County Road and Bridge Department Director Kyle Green. "As of Thursday morning, the water on the east side of Washington near Lilac was almost completely gone. The water on the west side is down by a little over an inch."
Massive rains over the past few weeks had accumulated in the area of Washington Boulevard, driving some families from their homes while threatening other structures. An earlier location of a pump proved to be less than successful, with groundwater seepage creating problems in an area dubbed "the pond."
Green reported water elevations in the area of Bottlebrush and Lilac have also come back up, due to that same type of action.
"The water is still well within the pond, there's no additional pumping," Green said.
Unlike the previous effort, the new pumping operation has been running around the clock, which has helped to continuously re-route the water toward nearby Lake Istokpoga. Green said the crews also are being aided by the sandy soil in the area, with at least some of the water percolating down toward the aquifer.
The money for the project is not coming from county taxpayers. Instead, the work is being financed through the Highlands Park Special Taxing district.
Preliminary numbers for about 50 hours of pumping by county crews were estimated at short of $4,000. Green said those figures represent only for the running of the pump and do not include any engineering or other fees associated with the operation.
"I have only been tracking the road and bridge expenses," he said. "I have not seen any figures for the surveying, in house drawings or anything like that he said.
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