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Anclote River, Cypress Creek hit flood stage

WESLEY CHAPEL - Water levels in the Anclote River in Elfers and Cypress Creek in Wesley Chapel have triggered a warning from the National Weather Service. Both bodies of water have risen to minor flood stage. According to the weather service, the Anclote River in Elfers near Little Road and River Oaks Court, crested at 21.99 feet Thursday afternoon, just shy of moderate flood stage. Flood stage in that area is considered 20 feet. Meanwhile, Cypress Creek, in the Worthington Gardens area south of State Road 56 and near Alvarez Acres, crested at 9.8 feet Thursday. Flood stage is 9 feet.
"If (residents) are experiencing flooding, obviously the Pasco County Health Department doesn't recommend that they stay within standing water if they happen to experience that," Pasco County spokesman Eric Keaton said. "Everyone is going to have a different experience." Residents who have questions should call the county's resident information line at (727) 847-8959. The Anclote is projected to continue dropping and should dip below 15 feet by Saturday. Cypress Creek should drop, according to National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration projections, to about the 8-foot mark by Saturday. For those needing sand bags, locations are open at the Land O' Lakes Recreation Center and the Public Works Administration building in New Port Richey. Both are open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Warder Road Public Works facility in San Antonio is open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Residents must bring their own shovels to all locations. Federal money was made available for Florida after President Barack Obama declared a major disaster area for the state. Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has set up Disaster Relief Centers throughout Florida, including New Port Richey. The Disaster Relief Center is located at Trouble Creek Square Shopping Center, 4444 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. The center is opened Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Representatives will answer questions about how homeowners, renters and business owners can get money to help them replace or repair damaged property. According to Renee Bafalis, public information officer for FEMA, people can still apply for loans due to Tropical Storm Debby and the ensuing rains that continue to drench the county. As of Tuesday, Bafalis said 1,681 people from Pasco County have contacted FEMA. In that period, 236 visited the center on Grand Boulevard. To register with FEMA, call (800) 621-FEMA (3362). Debby dumped nearly 15 inches of rain on Pasco County, mainly in the western portions of the region, at the end of June. That rainfall overflowed the Anclote and Pithlachascotee rivers. The flooding affected more than 7,000 residents and left one person dead. The body of David Glenn Huntley, 46, was found in the Anclote River just off Celtic Drive on June 28.

edaniels@tampatrib.com (813) 371-1860 Twitter: @EddieDTampaTrib

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