NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyLake Worth Beach

Actions

Storms leave Lake Worth Beach residents on flood alert

'We're a little worried about the integrity of the building over time,' one resident said
West Village Art Lofts flooding.PNG
Posted at 10:22 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 23:28:41-04

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — A series of storms Thursday meant big headaches for residents of the West Village Art Lofts. This, as the building has a history of flooding.

"This is part of my daily routine, I've had to become a weatherman. Days like today, I'll look at it every hour, otherwise, we wouldn't be ready. It'll just start pouring and flooding in 15 minutes' time," said Joshua Diaz who lives in the West Village Art Lofts.

West Village Arts Loft resident.PNG

Diaz said his studio was first flooded when he moved in in 2018, losing close to $20,000 in equipment and appliances.

"Over time, it's just going to start creating mold under the floor and the foundational cracks have grown. We're a little worried about the integrity of the building over time," said Diaz

Now, on heavy rain days, Diaz has sandbags for his entryways and cinder blocks inside to raise his furniture and recording equipment from flooding.

"The biggest losses for us have been the loss of work when this happens," said Diaz. "I think our loss of work has been more of the damages when it happens, the cleanup, the embarrassment when you have clients working in the studio," he added.

Neighbors contracted an engineer who said there's a bottleneck in the drainage system and plan to bring the findings to a city council meeting.

drainage.PNG

"What we really would love as the ending to this story is really to not be flooding anymore. We really just want to be residents of Lake Worth, work and live here and be above water," said Diaz

Neighbors like Marcele Bassett have completely blocked off their garages and invested thousands into flood barriers.

Marcele Bassett - resident.PNG

"We did purchase flood insurance, these are FEMA approved flood barriers. We're trying to do everything we can do to at least, hopefully, they will honor the claims," said Bassett

Bassett said years of flooding have cost him nearly $70,000 in damages and hopes the city can help before the start of hurricane season.

"If we get a bad hurricane and something is not done, these homes will be probably destroyed," said Bassett.

The city of Lake Worth Beach said the issue is with drainage.

Residents said they were told a project is in the works to try and detour some runoff that's overwhelming the closest drain.