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Steps to prevent flooding ahead of Tropical Depression Eta

Sea Pines neighborhood dealt with severe flooding two weeks ago
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Posted at 10:49 AM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-07 00:05:38-05

LANTANA, Fla. — Steve Wood, a Sea Pines neighborhood resident in Lantana is one of hundreds of homeowners who couldn’t deal with 15-inches of rain weeks ago. On Friday morning he packed sandbags for what the sky brings next.

”I’m just trying to save my investment,” Wood said. ”Wind we can handle but the rain we can’t.”

He’s one of many homeowners hoping their streets don’t turn into rivers once again.

The Sea Pines neighborhood off Hypoluxo Road, just east of Interstate 95, dealt with severe flooding about two weeks ago.

More than 300 homes were impacted by the flooding, and the frustration of neighbors boiled over during a town council meeting as they demanded a long-term solution.

The Town of Lantana Operations Director Eddie Crockett told WPTV they are taking steps to prepare for the approaching weather from Tropical Depression Eta and help prevent flooding.

RELATED: Tropical Depression Eta expected to impact South Florida's weather

"Along with the assistance of Palm Beach County and through our contract efforts, we pumped and/or pumped and hauled more than 12 million gallons of water from this [Sea Pines community] over the past several weeks," Crockett said.

Crockett added that crews are currently pumping water directly from the Sea Pines storm water retention basin in an effort to increase the storage capacity of the basin ahead of the expected rainfall from Eta. Crockett said those efforts will continue as long as pumping operations are feasible.

After the storm passes, Crockett says the town will reevaluate conditions in Sea Pines and implement either pumping operations with the help of Palm Beach County and/or their own pump and haul contractor.

Town leaders have also said they want to ask the South Florida Water Management District to lower a drainage pipe near I-95 to help drain water faster.

Precautions extend to the City of Boca Raton. Council member Andy Thomson says roads like Broken Sound Parkway and Broken Sound Boulevard are flood prone.

”We’ve checked all the storm drains within the city to make sure there’s no obstruction,” said Thomson.

Thomson also says due to hurricane season all public utilities and public works trucks and generators remain topped off and ready to respond where needed.

”The City of Boca Raton is ready. You need to be prepared also,” Thomson said.

Meanwhile, Palm Beach County’s emergency operations center will be activated throughout the weekend. At this time, officials do not anticipate issuing any evacuation orders or opening any emergency shelters.

Additionally, Florida Power and Light has prepositioned nearly 10,000 personnel to be ready to respond with impacts from Eta’s outer bands expected Saturday and an emergency response plan is underway.