Flooding along Peace River in DeSoto County

Reporter: Asha Patel, Gail Levy Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Families in DeSoto County are dealing with underwater streets and swollen canals as the Peace River floods from heavy rainfall.

Usually, about once a year, the road to James Allen Ledford’s house in DeSoto County becomes engulfed by flooded waters.

“I call this light… because I’ve been here when it was six foot in the yard,” Ledford said.

As the saying goes, everything’s relative, because Ledford’s definition of light flooding is a fairly generous one. Ledford figured out that in order to correctly navigate around his home means he cannot drive his truck to his front door.

Water seen gushing down a slope in a flooded DeSoto County community. (CREDIT: WINK News)

In Florida, you never know what may be in the water, so Ledford takes precautionary measures regularly. “I have to pack a pistol with me just for gators and snakes. I don’t know,” Ledford said.

Fortunately for Ledford, he’s never had to use the pistol before but he can’t say the same for his neighbor. “My neighbor has,” Ledford said. “He told me and that’s why I started carrying it because the first day of flood he said he had a gator in his driveway.”

Living in the area for 10 years means Ledford has had to battle much tougher circumstances than average rainfall. During Hurricane Irma, the water gushed into his house and rose two feet high inside.

But, Ledford has a caring outlook toward his neighborhood and neighbors because he understands they’re all in it together. So, Ledford checks on his neighbors and makes sure everyone is ok and is managing. “Time like this, we all help each other,” Ledford said.

WINK News received several pictures and videos from a viewer showing significant flooding along the Peace River. The National Weather Service says that moderate flooding is occurring along the river, specifically in Arcadia around SR-70.

The flooding is currently more than four feet above stage and 25 homes in the River Acres neighborhood are being impacted. The area has not flooded so high since June 2003.

A neighborhood in Arcadia that has become heavily flooded. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Dozens of cars can be seen near the flood zone, parked on the dry part of the road so they don’t get damaged by the water. One woman was seen taking a boat to reach her car before she could drive to work.

The water continues to rush, flow, and pour in the neighborhood and, unfortunately for Ledford, is expected to continue to rise.

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