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Mosquitos and property damage apparent due to Dixie County flooding

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:57 PM EDT
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The flooding in Dixie County has created numerous problems. Standing water is making homes uninviting to residents and very inviting to mosquitos.

Dixie County Mosquito Director Dwayne Chauncey says they’ve been busier than normal this year because of all the pronounced flooding in the area.

He says that because of all the standing water, things have to get worse before they can get better.

This comes on the heels of receiving 38 inches of rain in 60 days and roughly 10 inches above normal rainfall for August alone.

Floodwaters across the county are stagnant in numerous areas, which breeds mosquitos. But it also helps mosquito patrol know how to contain them.

Dwayne says larvacide works for “any standing water, any standing water anywhere: ditches, catch base, just water, in general, you see it’s everywhere. You’ve been here. This is a larvacide and in this larvacide what it does is attacks and kills the larvae before they ever become a mosquito. So that’s been our biggest thing this year.”

Chauncey and his team have four trucks and each has a sprayer, but he notes that some areas are so flooded they can’t get there.

He says the county does not have the capabilities to do aerial mosquito control like other counties in Florida.

As the water continues to stay put in sections, Dwayne says the best way to put up with the mosquitoes is to wear EPA-approved bug spray and wear the proper clothing.

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But the flooding hasn’t just enhanced mosquito activity. It’s also damaged people’s property a great deal.

Guy Richardson moved to Dixie County 25 years ago and he’s no stranger to the wet summers of North Central Florida.

He says that flooding has occurred many times over the years, but hasn’t stuck around like it has this summer.

Sixty percent of his property has been flooded and it’s been this way for a few weeks.

This water has caused his pond, which is filled with koi, bass, bluegill, and other types of fish to be uninhabitable. And now the time he spent building his hobby has been lost.

He says going fishing “amused me I’d go out there and see them and feed them. I feed them every other day and that ya know it just... If they’re gonna be gone then I’ll have to start all over again. And that means I have to buy more and restock the pond. That’s if the water goes down.”

He also believes part of the flooding problem is enhanced by culvert pipes that have partially been filled in by the county to create reverse lanes for mail carriers.

He and other property owners in the area hope that these drainage issues can be fixed for this flooding event, and ones in the future.

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