Acreage residents sound off about flooding frustrations

Some families say their homes remain unlivable

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Many Acreage residents sounded off about what was left behind from Tropical Storm Isaac. Weeks after the storm, many of their lives remain at a stand-still. The Indian Trail Improvement District took comments from members of the public on Wednesday night and the often-quiet meeting became quite heated.

Lisa Prewitt and her daughter, Kellie, 13, were the first to take to the podium. They are some of the many victims of massive flooding that overtook much of the Acreage.

"It flowed in my house. My house is totaled. I lost every stick of furniture," said Mrs. Prewitt to the board of supervisors. "I have have been living in a hotel for three weeks and the song and dance I've been hearing here is a total disgrace," she said.

The Indian Trail Improvement District heard from an overflow crowd. For many residents, this was the first time they have been able to express their anger and concerns since they began dealing with the devastation left behind by Tropical Storm Isaac.

"Do any of you have to live in a hotel?," Prewitt asked the board. "How do you explain to your kids that they have no furniture?"

Michelle Damone, President of the Indian Trail Improvement District was on the receiving end of the heated comments from Prewitt and others.

"Our job is to look at the district as a whole and when you see an individual's tragedy, I feel for you," said Damone.

The district said it took thousands of calls from residents in the Acreage since the storm. Along with the South Florida Water Managment District, Indian Trail Improvement District said it did what it could before, during and after the storm.

"Our staff did the best that they could under the circumstances," said Damone. "It's a 100 year storm within our legal limits, within the limits that we have at Indian Trail Improvement District." Record rains, overwhelmed pumping stations flowed into canals that could not contain the amount of water.

The Prewitt family said they are attempting to make repairs at their home. Kellie said she was proud of her mother for speaking to the board about how much her family - and so many families - have been changed forever.

"It makes me really sad to know that I'm going to have to leave everyone here and I've been at the house since I was born," she said.

The Indian Trail Improvement District said it has learned a lot from this storm, in particular. The district is currently working with the office of Governor Rick Scott and with other agencies too soon be able to, legally, pump out more water from the area than it has been allowed in the past.

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