NewsTreasure CoastRegion St Lucie CountyFort Pierce


Sabal Chase Apartment residents fear flooding repeat from Hurricane Dorian

Posted at 11:46 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 23:46:06-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla.  — The Sabal Chase apartments suffered through some of our area’s worst flooding in Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Many first floor apartments were condemned because of damage from floodwaters.

Some changes have been made to those units with hopes of making them more resilient in potential future flooding events, but some residents fear not enough has been done.

St. Lucie County officials in a news conference Friday said the Hurricane could bring a storm surge of anywhere from 7 to 11 feet to the Treasure Coast.

At Sabal Chase in 2017, heavy rains contributed to ponds overflowing and canals swelling, flooding neighborhood streets and homes.

“If we have as much rain as the last storm, every lake and canal around here is going to overflow again,” fears resident Lisa Whiddon.

She said the water rose quickly, “all of a sudden coming outside and walking with the fish.”

Miciah Franklin remembers cars were stranded for days.

“My car got flooded in the back. It was very, very bad.” Her first-floor apartment was unlivable for months.

“Everything was soaking wet. We had wet carpets, they stink, it was just very bad,” Franklin said.

Since Irma, Whiddon says all carpeting has been removed from first-floor units.

“They re-did all the first floor apartments, all the drywall, re-did the floor,” Whiddon said.

While that might help the units dry out faster, residents are still nervous, not knowing if there are any plans to reduce flooding in the first place.

Because of that, Franklin is not taking any chances.

“I'm going to go to the shelter, I’m definitely not going to stay here,” Franklin said.

They are all still holding out hope that Hurricane Dorian will change directions- the best flooding prevention.

“I’m just taking it a day at a time, you know, I’m praying. I’m trying to be as ready as I can be,” Franklin said.