New Port Richey, Florida -- After flooding several homes and filling at least one whole neighborhood with water, the rushing Anclote River may have reached its peak level.
Photo Gallery: Anclote River floods Pasco neighborhood
The river's height of 26 1/2 feet should now be dropping and continue to fall after a Wednesday morning high tide at 6:35 a.m., a Pasco County Emergency Management spokesman explained.
As the water flows into the Gulf of Mexico, it will leave behind relief for thousands of people.
As many as 15,000 people in four New Port Richey neighborhoods have been told to leave their homes as floodwaters threatened.
In Anclote River Estates, homes and cars sit in water several feet deep. People can come and go only by boat or by swimming in the stiff current.
Other areas, like Millpond Estates, are essentially islands; while the homes are dry, there is no dry way in or out of the community.
Around 1,800 homes have no power. Emergency managers say in most cases, the electricity cutoff is a safety measure taken by power companies to keep from electrocuting people wading through floodwaters.
Pasco County issued a mandatory evacuation order covering 7,000 homes Tuesday. Sheriff Chris Nocco said people will not be arrested and forced to leave, even though his deputies were given that power by the order.
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Grayson Kamm, 10 News