Tuesday, May 21

Lake Worth Beach residents face flood damage from rainstorm

Friday night’s heavy rain flooded 18th Avenue South in Lake Worth Beach. Residents said the water in the street went up to their knees and overflowed into their homes.

Lana Marsch spent Saturday afternoon sorting through boxes of her soggy things.

“Everything is ruined. I have boxes of clothes in that dumpster behind you that are just trashed,” Marsch said.

She just moved into a new rental property on 18th Avenue South. Many of her things weren’t even unpacked.

“All of our boxes just have standing water in them from our bedroom to our kid’s room,” she said. “Everything is just standing water, so now it’s an assessment of what is salvageable and what’s not.”

It’s damage that’s left over from Friday night’s heavy rain, which flooded the street and several homes in the neighborhood.

“The water was up to here, but I think after it recessed a little bit it was here because when I stepped down my thighs were wet when I came in through the window,” Marsch said.

Robert Serr also lives in the neighborhood.

“There was about 16 to 18 inches of rain on the street,” he said.

He said his house had flooded before, but never this badly.

“My house has never flooded inside the house. The garage has flooded a few times, but inside the house has never flooded,” he said.

Sam Heady, the Lake Worth Beach utilities director, said Friday night made for especially bad conditions.

He explained that the city is working on a project to update a water pump at the end of the street that would help with street flooding. However, Marsch and her husband worry the pump wasn’t running Friday.

“I don’t know if they forgot to turn something on last night, but the generator wasn’t running and therefore we got flooded out,” Christopher Smiley, who is Marsh’s husband, said.

WPTV took her concerns to the utilities director. He said his staff visited the site Friday night.

“My staff had mentioned to me that everything was running as normal and if the de-watering pumps weren’t operating things could’ve been a lot worse than they were,” Heady said.

For now, Marsch said, they’re storing the things they could salvage in a truck and staying with family while the repairs are made.

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