Newspaper Archive
Clippings from the past - note the year

St. Petersburg Times, Army Corps studies Lake Tarpon flooding in 1960


TARPON SPRINGS — Hope that help might be forthcoming to control the water level at Lake Tarpon was given to lake area residents when it was revealed that a survey of the condition had been made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For the second time in six months, residents around Lake Tarpon have been harassed by flood conditions.

Recent rainfall caused a recurrence of last September's problem, when the water rose and flooded streets and homes around the lake.

Tom Parsley of St. Petersburg, owner of a development on the lake, asked for help from the office of Sen. George Smathers. An engineer from Jacksonville made the survey.

Parsley said the study was made to estimate the damage and the number of persons affected by the high water.

For the past several days, many residents have used boats to get from the highway to their homes, but none have been forced to leave their homes.

Several fish camp owners, who keep records of the lake's water level, said the level this weekend was the highest ever recorded and was at least 10 inches above last summer's high.

Bill Benhart, owner of Lake Tarpon's Marina, said the lake was at a low level before the rain started, but within days had risen 54 inches.

After last summer's rain, a group of lakefront property owners petitioned officials for help to prevent floods.

It was pointed out then by residents that the lake's water level is a year-round problem that becomes acute when there is heavy rain. A spokesman for the group said the high water in the lake restricts the natural drainage of the surrounding land, thus causing water damage to streets and septic tanks.

St. Petersburg Times, 1/23/66: New plan formed for Lake Tarpon.

TARPON SPRINGS - Plans are in the works for developing Lake Tarpon as a boating mecca, according to U.S. Rep. William Cramer.

Cramer wants to put a lock in the proposed channel between the lake and Tampa Bay so boaters from the bay can enter the lake.  He also plans for the 19-foot-deep channel to become a boating area.

The Corps of Engineers, which Cramer questioned about the feasibility of his plans, said the lock will not hinder the channel construction.

[Epilog: the "proposed channel" is now the Lake Tarpon Outfall Canal, which does not have a lock, only a dam.  It is possible to drag a small boat up the bank and around the dam.  The proposed "boating area" did become a world-class ski area, then became an idle speed zone in 1984.]

St. Petersburg Times, 2/16/65: Plans for Upper Tampa Bay call for changes in salinity.

In Six months time, an earthen dike could separate Tampa Bay from Upper Tampa Bay, and turn the latter into a freshwater lake.  Officials of the Pinellas-Anclote River Basin Board and the Northwest Hillsborough Basin Board met Feb 15 to approve a contract with Reynolds, Smith and Hills, a Jacksonville engineering firm, to design and supervise the work converting the salt water area into a freshwater lake.

Plans can be finalized in nine months, once the Southwest Management District and the Hillsborough County commission approve the contract.  Under the agreement between the four agencies, the Pinellas board and the northwest Hillsborough board would share the costs of engineering, legal work, design and inspections, estimated at $500,000.  The Pinellas Basin board and Hllsborough County would share the estimated $4.3 million construction costs.

[Epilog: Upper Tampa Bay is still salt water.]


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