SEMINOLE COUNTY: We called Winter Springs; nobody was home

  • Seminole County employees described Winter Springs leadership AWOL; they tried to call and coordinate response and said nobody was home.
  • Winter Springs employees said City Manager had resigned and had not been heard form for the first couple days of storm response, a claim the city refutes.

Cade Resnick has been actively involved in providing information related to the sewage issues affecting the Highlands and Tuscawilla, and has had ongoing communication with city staff, who have shared alarming details and concerns of the mishandling of Hurricane Ian.

According to conversations with Seminole County, they attempted to reach out to Winter Springs to provide assistance and nobody was home.

The following is a summary of the points which have been made by city staff:

  • What we are hearing from city staff directly contradicts the self-congratulations of city leadership
  • The city depended on unqualified third party contractors who left us completely unprepared
  • Contrary to public statements by city leadership, the Tuscawilla plant was down and a boil water alert should have been raised many hours prior to when it was issued
  • The reject pond did breach, allowing fecal matter to flow across the golf course and Howell Creek, contrary to statements by city leadership
  • Had the ponds been properly prepared and emptied, our water retention capacity would have been increased by millions of gallons
  • Nobody who works for Veolia, the Flint, Michigan water company running our water system is certified to work in Florida
  • Most residents did not receive boil water alerts from the city but received them from Seminole County instead
  • Hurricane Irma brought 14 inches of rain without and former city leadership, with local in-house public works employees were much better prepared

Seminole County employees were not the only ones expressing concerns about the city’s lack of responsiveness. Residents complained about calls into city hall going unanswered. City employees told residents the city manager had resigned and was not heard from in the first days of storm recovery. The Mayor and City Manager did not reply to inquires trying to deny the statements of city staff for 24-48 hours.

By the time the city held a meeting–four days after the storm–the commissioners sought to blame the City of Casselberry and Seminole County for intentionally sending water toward Winter Springs. This occurred even though Seminole County had already debunked this misinformation on social media.