North Port Fire Chief Scott Titus told CNN early Saturday that some parts of the city remain under 7 to 8 feet of water. He said that 150 water rescues were conducted overnight as residents were brought to area shelters.
The city warned residents on Friday of a water control structure experiencing erosion issues along the Cocoplum Waterway near North Port Boulevard.
“The levee that had an issue, actually that water went into a bowl,” Titus said. “It affected a number of homes in that area, but it doesn't go any further on than that. … When that began to happen though, they needed to get those residents out quickly. They coordinated those efforts, and they did that over in the nighttime hours last night.”
Residents were directed to three area shelters:
- San Pedro Catholic Church (14380 Tamiami Trail)
- Publix (1251 Toledo Blade Blvd.)
- Foundation Church (13000 Tamiami Trail)
Titus said that thousands of homes remain flooded.
Officials also have closed both sides of Interstate 75 due to the flooding in North Port.
Nearly 180 Florida National Guard arrived in North Port on Friday to assist with rescues. City officials said amid rescue operations, they are unable to conduct welfare checks.
“If you are in an area that is impacted with water and there are rising waters threatening your home, we are recommending you evacuate,” the City of North Port wrote on its Facebook page. “If you are unable to evacuate and need immediate removal from your home, please call 911.”