PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Residents living in the Kawanha Park neighborhood in central Palm Beach County said they're worried their homes will end up underwater.
That's because changes were made to a lake behind their homes during what neighbors said was the construction of the new Lakeshore at the Fountains development.
"The grading, when they started doing the construction back here behind the house, the grading was higher than the properties here," resident LoriAnn Roderick said. "There were canal openings on either side of the lake that have been plugged and the water just keeps rising, There's nowhere for it to go."
The concerned residents live just south of Lake Worth Road and west of Jog Road near Greenacres.
The new construction is owned by the developer Lennar.
"It's a unique situation because it's very likely that the project is perfectly legal, but since this neighborhood has existed here for possibly 30 to 50 years," concerned neighbor Jerry Paquin said, "a compromise has to be made so that drainage is provided so our homes aren't flooded out."
Residents said they noticed the flooding in the last month, leaving many of their yards flooded with water.
"We have grandchildren. We want them to be able to play," Anthony Roderick, whose backyard has been flooding, said. "Who knows? There could be disease, certainly, mosquitoes have jumped 10-fold, and it's causing a problem. We can't even use our backyard."
Another neighbor said all the water is killing her landscaping and fruit trees.
"I had fish in my backyard. I went in a hole there until my knee, and I was like rolling over because I couldn't get out," neighbor Isela Breen said. "My husband wanted to go to his car, but because he was parked in the front of our house, he had to use his bicycle to go get in his car cause it's flooded."
The Rodericks contacted Palm Beach County Land Development official George Beck in an email, who said project engineers will be completing a line installation this week and restoring the final lake bank grade.
He also stated that he asked Lennar to contact residents.
The Rodericks said they had not heard from the company.
"If it doesn't get solved soon, yes, we already have a sandbag just to be safe, and we figure if we have to do that, given the rising water, that's what we'll have to do," Anthony Roderick said.
WPTV contacted the developers at about 6:30 p.m. Friday but did not hear back in time for Friday night's broadcast.
In an email, Beck said he has asked developers to look into the matter and offer help before any more flooding occurs.