ORLANDO, Fla. - On some streets in Orange County's Orlo Vista neighborhood, it still looks like Hurricane Ian happened yesterday, even though it has been several weeks since the storm struck Central Florida.
Willie Wright was outside cleaning-up Wednesday morning and said he had no choice but to move on after the hurricane took everything. "It's just something that you've got to endure, got to keep going," he said.
Now, Orange County has a new plan to control flooding around Orlo Vista – a $23.4 million project that will enlarge three retention ponds so they can hold more water. County engineers said they will also work on making the water flow more efficiently. They will also install new pumps that can move water at more than 40,000 gallons per minute.
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"We are improving some of the connections between three existing lakes, so hopefully, to capture the water, and move the water out of the area quickly, so we'll have three pump stations instead of two, to have redundancy within the system," said Daniel Negron, an Orange County Stormwater Management engineer.
The county said they will start installing the new system early next year, and it should be ready in 2024. Some skeptical, storm-weary people living in Orlo Vista say they will believe it when they see it. "I want to hope they'll do better, I don't see it happening," said Janét Buford-Johnson, an Orlo Vista resident. "This is the second time we've been flooded to this degree, but this is even more than the last time. All our homes are destroyed.