Remnants of Tropical Storm Chantal cause flood concerns in already heavily saturated South Florida

Residents, water districts watching forecast

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - Water district managers throughout South Florida are closely watching the forecast as they try to prepare for what the remnants of Tropical Storm Chantal could bring to an already heavily saturated area.

Engineers at the South Florida Water Management District have opened up several canals through the district. They are trying to make room and allow local drainage district to lower canal levels to help prevent an already soaked South Florida from flooding.

Residents like George Warren, who lives in Loxahatchee, has been watching the forecast and checking the radar constantly to try and prepare for whatever the latest weather system could bring.

"The ground is so saturated with all the rain we've been getting I don't think it can stand much more," said Warren.

Rain gages show South Florida is nearly 2.5 inches above average for July.

It is a figure that awakens bad memories for Warren whose house flooded during Tropical Storm Isaac. He know wonders what the latest storm has in store for his community.

"My big concern is all the water coming up to the point where it will even get up close to the house," said Warren.

Randy Smith with the South Florida Water Management District said Tropical Storm Andrea left South Florida heavily saturated.

"The system at this point is full of water. We've got water in the water conservation areas and just about any place you can store water," said Smith.

If the remnants of Chantal sit above the area and drop heavy amounts of rain, Smith said there could be widespread flooding problems throughout Palm Beach County.

"I'm hoping this thing only drops a little bit of rain with as saturated the ground is," said Warren.

 District managers in South Florida said they are opening up canals as a precautionary measure. They said if they wait too long and the remnants of Chantal drops heavy rain, it could be too late by then.

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