SULPHUR SPRINGS, FL. — Sulphur Springs is one of the areas that was outlined on new maps for high risk of flooding by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.

What You Need To Know

  • Jamie Dickerson's home is in a flood zone

  • Her home's foundation is now shifting, resulting in cracks forming all around the building, inside and out

  • Local community leaders are exploring ways to handle the issue

"When it rains, my whole yard over there will flood," said Jamie Dickerson. "It all looks like a river."

Dickerson has been renting her home for about six years. Over time, she says the foundation of the home has shifted. 

"It feels like the house is sinking, like it's going down. Nothing sits leveled," she added.

She points to markers showing severe water damage. 

"Right here you can see these cracks right here and it goes all the way down. It looks like they were trying to patch it up," she said.

The home's interior is also riddled with cracks. 

"It's getting worse," she continued. 

Dickerson says she's had to use more heat in winter and air conditioning during the summer, "I've had an electric bill of almost $300. I can't afford to go anywhere else. Rent is so high and you need so much to move."

The retired nurse is on a fixed income which she says limits her options. Last year, Dickerson met Joseph Ayala of the CLEO Institute together they've been working to bring attention to the issue. They are working with the City of Tampa on a Climate Equity Action Plan. 

Ayala says homes within these flood zones need upgrades that are being ignored. 

"Housing prices are going up everywhere and people are really taking advantage of the fact that they can rent houses at exorbitant prices and to see people [landlords] not taking care of the houses that they're getting its guaranteed money. They don't have the motivation to fix things if they are going to get a check every month. It's guaranteed money, especially if people are on section 8." 

Dickerson hopes the partnership will lead to a resolution that everyone in her community can benefit from.   

"To make things better for our neighborhood." she said. "This is a neighborhood of senior citizens."

A community that wants to thrive as they age and not have their qualitty of life bogged down by flooding. The Cleo Institute and City will host a series of listening sessions and Town hall meetings about the Climate Equity Action Plan starting in September.