Acreage residents angry about flooding response

THE ACREAGE, Fla. - Officials in The Acreage are encouraging people to stay at home Tuesday tonight, especially after dark.  Many of the main roads and parking lots are drying off but that's not the case for most side streets and properties across the area.

In fact, many home owners aren't happy to say the least on how the flooding is being handled and held a rally at the Publix parking lot off Seminole road to figure out what to do next. More than a hundred people showed up.

"We have more than three feet of water, as you can see my shed with all of my tools are completely damaged somebody gotta be responsible for it," said Roberto Betancourt.

He's angry, and he's not alone.

"You ask what's going on, but it sounds like no one has an answer for you," he said.

NewsChannel 5 did get some answers from the Indian Trail Improvement District, the agency in charge of the waterways.

"Our staff has been working around the clock to make sure we continue pumping," said Michelle Damone, Board President.

Officials told NewsChannel 5 there have been a lot of rumors and miscommunication.  They claim all three pump stations have been working since Thursday and that they have been working continuously since Sunday morning.

District leaders said they are pumping in different directions now due to canals getting over filled with water.  Plus, at least three different breaches over the past 24 hours such as the breaches at 123rd and 40th.  It's a breach they now say could have been partly due to some residents digging in the area to protect their properties.

"The residents that live in that area said were telling us that individuals helped create that breach and not just water, so we filed a report with the sheriff's department today," said Damone.

Plus, the Improvement District has reached agreements with the cities of West Palm Beach and Royal Palm Beach to begin carrying some of the area's flood waters to those cities.  By permits, the Acreage is only allowed to discharge a quarter of an inch of water every 24 hours. 

Indian Trail Improvement District officials also said they'll be using an additional manual pump beginning Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, drivers are doing whatever they can to get by and hoping more rain doesn't back up the system even more.

The District said it has been in contact with the National Guard but that the Guard won't be coming to the area unless more rain makes the situation worse and they need help sandbagging.


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