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Lake Worth Beach residents upset as homes flood during rain

Residents plead for any help they can get
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Posted at 2:28 PM, Dec 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-19 18:52:57-05

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Heavy rains and loud thunderstorms rolled through parts of Palm Beach County early Sunday.

For some folks in Lake Worth Beach, it caused flooding to rush into their homes.

"We're looking at the drainage of 6 inches of water that flooded into our homes," said Marcele Bassett, who lives in the West Village Arts Lofts along North F Street and Lucerne Avenue.

"When I stepped down, my foot just splattered in water and my heart just broke because I knew we had missed our opportunity to try and save the furniture and our belongings," said Bassett.

Bassett said the flooding is a reoccurring issue he said has cost him nearly $70,000 in damages.

"Family has plane tickets to come in. Our daughter graduated from Temple. She was coming home for the first time," said Bassett. "Since that, we just lost my mother, so some of our brothers were coming down and spending the holidays, but we won't be able to host and have everyone here now."

Neighbors said they have contacted Neighborhood Renaissance Inc., who sold them their homes.

Their attorney said it's the city's drainage system that's the main cause of the flooding.

They sent the following letter to the city of Lake Worth Beach's Water Utilities assistant director, Julie Parham, on Nov. 4, 2020.

"This is not a flood zone," said Matthew Vought, another resident of the West Village Arts Lofts. "This is strictly a matter of the municipal storm drainage failing and not doing what it's supposed to do, as well as the foundations being built so low in relation to the current of the road. We're just in a bowl here."

WPTV has contacted Lake Worth Beach City leaders but did not hear back.

"We could've had 12 hours of heavy rain, and then we don't know, what would we have inside the house? A foot of water?" said Vought.

The rain flooded his first floor, which he uses as an art studio, raising concerns on the impact future hurricanes may have, but also the health and integrity inside the building.

"Of course, there's concerns for mold, but also there's fractures in the foundation and when the water is sitting in there, you can see bubbles coming up, so water is wicking down," said Vought.

As the flooding goes down and clean up continues, neighbors are pleading for any help they can get.

"At this point, I would ask the city just to take us out and let us out of the houses let us have our lives back," said Bassett. "This is no way to live. This isn't fair."