Florida neighborhood evacuated after bayou overflows

Pocahontas Dr in Largo, right outside the exit of Oak Manor this morning. 3 cars were stuck, everyone got out safe. Largo Police helped out. Roads are closed coming in and out of the area. One house now has interior flood damage. Courtesy: Justin Broughton

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Residents evacuated a Sarasota neighborhood Wednesday because of flooding. Officials said Whitaker Bayou overflowed.

The neighborhood is near 40th Street, just east of Coconut Avenue.

Sarasota police suggested seven residents evacuate. News Channel 8 saw a police officer carrying a resident’s dog, helping the owner slog through waist-high water.

“It’s coming in now. I’m fine,” said a neighbor, who walked in the water to high ground.

News Channel 8 talked with another resident getting her dog to safety. Judy talked about her dog. “He’s very wet, and he does not understand what’s going on,” she said as the two made it out.

Boats were launched to assist in the evacuation.

City leaders are concerned about the timing of the flooding. “Where I’m concerned at is when it’s high tide. And right now, what’s unusual is, it’s low tide, and we’re getting these backups in certain areas, and I think our storm water systems are overloaded,” said Todd Kerkering, the City of Sarasota’s emergency manager.

Here is the latest on flooding in Sarasota and throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Meanwhile in Manatee County, late afternoon storms meant flooding rains in Bradenton, including along 5th Street.

Several drivers rolled the dice and lost. “Then the car went bloop and there was like a jump in the road, I don’t know and water sloshed over the hood and it stopped,” Kay Harper said.

The street turned into a car graveyard of sorts. “It just stopped, and I wasn’t gonna try to start it again,” Pat Harty said.

Kayakers enjoyed the high water, but homeowners didn’t like it lapping at their doors.

In addition, there was an odd sight in the middle of the road: a loaded handgun. Manatee County deputies took the gun and will check to see where it came from.

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