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Despite clear skies, some roads still flooded in Loxahatchee Groves

Posted at 7:34 PM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-20 04:23:31-04

Five weeks after heavy rains flooded roads in Loxahatchee Groves, residents are still dealing with disastrous side effects that include crumbling roads, potholes and standing water.

The sun is hot and it hasn't rained in a few days but we found a mess on 161 Terrace North, where cars are still cautiously driving through deep pools of water. The issue was first brought to WPTV's attention by an anonymous neighbor who wrote a letters complaint to the town council and even the Florida governor's office. 

It's a problem that Judi Pettegrove and her father said never seems to go away.

"These roads are not even safe to be driving on," said Judi.

"And they don't try to fix it. They don't seem to know what they're doing," said resident Bradley Pettegrove.

It floods badly when it rains and Judi says she knows why.

"The roads are not maintained," she said. 

We couldn't reach anyone with the town of Loxahatchee Groves on camera Tuesday because a secretary said officials were preparing for a town council meeting that night. However, officials have told WPTV that the water control district was in charge of the roads but turned it over to the town.

Due to serious financial issues, Vice Mayor Todd McLendon said that the town does not have the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to fix the roads.

"About 20 years ago we had trouble like that, maintenance took care of it," said Judi. "Now -- this is worse than it was 20 years ago."

Although some of the roads are private and have to be raked over by the neighbors themselves, neighbors said the town is still supposed to assist when it gets this severe.

So far, gravel has been added gravel to fill the potholes.

We spoke to 70-year-old Claire -- a neighbor of the Pettegroves -- who has felt very nervous to drive out on the very road she lives on.

"I don't know whose fault it is. Nobody can stop the rain, but something needs to be done to this road here," she said.

She took it slow and cautious on the puddles after nearly getting stuck in a huge pothole of water over the weekend.

"I know it's horrible and I'm afraid," she said. "I'm not blaming nobody. I'm just saying something needs to be done."

As far as immediate solutions, town leaders told WPTV they're looking at doing a town wide assessment to see if adding to people's property tax bills can help generate funds. They're also hoping to depend on the local water control district to help.

The Pettegroves are already paying a hefty tab in their monthly bills. Bradley shared concern on where that money is going.

"That $1,100 a year I've been paying on top of my tax bill, it's kind of a hard pill to swallow," he said.

WPTV has also done extensive coverage on animal sanctuaries in the area that had to evacuate animals, including more than 70 dogs that were evacuated from Barky Pines Animal Rescue. Rescue workers say poor drainage and lack of oversight led to severe flooding, with some parts of their properties sitting in up to five feet of water.

The issues prompted the Palm Beach County leaders and the Indian Trails Improvement District to coordinate a meeting to discuss the drainage issues that was planned for this week. That meeting has now been pushed to July.