Residents in Key Largo dealing with extreme flooding

Water rising in parts of Key Largo for over 6 weeks

By Hatzel Vela - Reporter

KEY LARGO, Fla. - There are about 215 homes in the Stillwright Point Subdivision, which is surrounded by canals, between U.S.-1 and the Florida Bay in Key Largo. 

The area has flooded from a combination of king tides and storms that affected the Gulf Stream and pushed water back into Blackwater Sound. 

"The perfect storm," said Key Largo resident Emilie Stewart. "Your life stops, basically. You're stuck in your home."

Several residents spoke with Local 10 News and said Monroe County hasn't done enough since it began addressing the issue in 2012. 

George Smyth has to wash his car daily, fearful the saltwater will rust and destroy it. 

"A cost-effective solution would be to basically raise up the road by putting asphalt on it to get to this level that we're at now, and that would get us another 10 years," Smyth said. 

Monroe County officials say there isn't really a long-term solution, aside from storm drain enhancements and cleaning. 

"Right now, we're doing a 4.7 study to know exactly how bad the problem is and what needs to be done to fix the problem," said Key Largo administrator Roman Gastesi. 

The problem is even impacting local law enforcement. 

Officials with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said: 

"The saltwater damage done to patrol vehicles can make them unsafe to operate. It is also of taxpayer fiscal concern as such repairs are expensive, therefore we are not conducting routine patrols when the tides are high. To be clear: The Sheriff’s Office is responding to all calls in this neighborhood."

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