An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Orange County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Flood-ravaged Orlo Vista residents weigh selling out after Irma

Ever since Hurricane Donna in 1960, Orange County has known Orlo Vista is in danger of flooding.

Since then, the county has expanded ponds, dug canals and added pumps to avoid a repeat of Donna’s massive damage to the neighborhood south of Pine Hills. But the best solution — buying out dozens of homes in the area most likely to flood — was deemed too expensive and time-consuming, especially since Orlo Vista had seen practically no flooding for the past 57 years.

But on Sept. 11, Hurricane Irma sent floodwaters rushing into 500 homes and forced more than 200 people to evacuate. The damage may point the way toward what had been thought unfeasible just last year — the multimillion-dollar job of purchasing and knocking down homes in the 10-year floodplain to protect the rest of the community of about 6,000 residents.