Concern is rising along with the water at Paradise Lake on the Historic Side of The Villages.
Daily heavy rainfall is causing problems all around The Villages, including the closure of numerous golf courses for “water dumping.” Irrigation is running in an effort to bring down the water levels in retention ponds and the situation has been labeled a “public safety” issue.
Residents at Paradise Lake are watching nervously as water levels creep closer and closer to their homes.
“Where are the pumps? You would think they don’t care about us,” said Bill Cini, whose home backs up to the lake. He also owns the former home of Villages founder Harold Schwartz, which is also on Paradise Lake. He uses that property as a rental.
However, a District official said pumping is taking place and the lake’s level is being closely monitored.
The rising water is evoking bitter memories of the misery that follow Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Floodwaters made the golf cart bridge over U.S. Hwy. 27/441 impassable, essentially cutting off many elderly residents who relied solely on golf cart transportation from being able to buy groceries and get to medical appointments. The dilemma was so serious that members of a Facebook group called The Villages Friendly Folks took it upon themselves to spend five days delivering water, ice and food to those in need. Paradise Lake was designed many years ago for a 25-year storm, not a 150-year storm like Irma.
With peak hurricane season right around the corner, residents are wondering how high the water will go.