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Communities near Bass Lake struggle to stay dry

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The storm is long gone, but the aftermath of Hurricane Hermine is persisting in parts of Pasco County.

  • Over a thousand homes in Pasco Co. were impacted by Hermine
  • Several residences along Bass Lake are still dealing with major flooding
  • One resident used 250 sandbags to secure his home

Brian Hershelman of Bass Lake thought his home might just survive Hermine after the storm made its way through on Friday. He’s since learned Mother Nature had other plans.

“Between Saturday and now it’s just done this slow, slow, slow, inching crawl, so it’s really been unnerving because you almost think it’s going to stop and go down and it’s not,” said Hershelman.

As the weekend rain continued, Bass Lake rose.

“There hasn’t been a lot of sleep," said Hershelman, "I managed a little bit at night but then all the sudden the fear jerks me up and I have to go scout the perimeter and see what’s going on.”

On Saturday, Hershelman’s friends and family stormed his home to help, lining his house with 250 sandbags and plastic wrap. So far it’s done the trick.

“God answered our prayers, I thought he’d answer the prayers by receding the water, but he sent us help.”

But a few houses down, Amy Murray’s home flooded, and the stress is taking its toll.

“Financially and mentally I’m exhausted," said Murray.

According to Murray, her home took on so much water because of a clogged drain that sits near her home, at the intersection of Wicker Lane and Bass Lake Drive.

“I watched it rise," she said. "I watched it fill my yard and come in my doors from the drain being clogged up. It had nothing to do with the lake at that moment."

Murray said the county said it would fix the problem, but the public works director said he is not aware of any complaints.

“They promised me last year that they were going to fix this," said Murray.

Murray said she’s looking to move. Until then though, she’s scrambling with her neighbors to stay dry.

There is a recommended evacuation for Bass Lake, and the area is still under mandatory evacuation orders.

A thousand homes and properties in Pasco County have been impacted by the storm. Nearly 300 have major damage, and nine are destroyed.

Bay News 9 – news

September 6, 2016 |

Lakeland resident wants name of Lake Horney changed

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Some Lakeland residents are embarrassed by the name of a lake and they would like to see it changed. The name of the lake is Lake Horney.

  • Lake Horney is embarrassing to some residents
  • Up to federal agency whether to change the name

Resident Barry Zimmerman has asked the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to change the name.

Resident MaryJo Williams actually had the front of her house changed to face another direction when she had it remodeled years ago. That way it would face another street and she could change her address. “Because it’s very embarrassing,” she said. “You turn red.”

Kim Combs moved into a home along Lake Horney several months ago. People raise an eyebrow when she tells them the lake’s name.

“They chuckle and sometimes do not so polite names back," she said.

City commissioners have decided to look into the issue by checking with residents near the lake.  

“I don’t live in the neighborhood and if it bothers people it’s only fair we take a look at it,” said Commissioner Don Selvage.

The name of the lake has nothing to do with sex. It’s named after former prominent resident Julius T. Horney.

 MaryJo Williams has gotten over the name of the lake. She now jokes about it with friends. However, she’s not taking a position on the name change issue.

Resident Rachel Blackstone gets a kick out of the name and doesn’t want it changed. 

“Oh come on,” she said. “It’s the name of a lake. Ha, ha, ha."

It will be up to the federal agency whether to change the name.

Bay News 9 – local-news

June 11, 2016 |

East Lake High football coach teaches life lessons on and off the field

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The East Lake High School football team took their talents off the field and into the community this weekend.

  • Coach Bob Hudson tries to teach to his players life lessons
  • Team participated in community service projects this weekend

Head Coach Bob Hudson is trying to teach his team that there are more things in life than playing football so he’s been having the team participate in community service projects around Pinellas County.

“One of the biggest parts of my job is to get these guys to understand all of life,” Hudson said. “Football parts easy, trying to do other things outside of football whether it’s grades or servicing the community.”

The team spent their Saturday painting the boardwalk at the Suncoast Hospice Care center. For some of the team, the project was personal.

"My grandma died in hospice so I just want to give back to the community and be with my friends, build relationships," team member Tupac Blanch said.

Team members said they hope to build relationships by lending a helping hand and hope their good deeds will go a long way.

"I’m just doing it to make me feel good personally that I did something for someone else and hopefully someone will pay it forward," team member Spencer Schmuckie said.

Bay News 9 – local-news

April 24, 2016 |
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