HOBE SOUND, Fla. — Construction crews have begun demolition on homes in the Hobe Heights community in Hobe Sound.
Crews could be seen tearing down homes into the evening Wednesday. Neighbors said three houses had been demolished already with work beginning earlier in the week.
This comes after flooding damaged some homes so badly, the county made plans to buy certain homes and tear them down.
During the summer of 2020, nearly 30 inches of rain fell in a matter of days. The neighborhood already had drainage issues and lacked proper infrastructure to prevent major flooding.
Dozens of homes were flooded.
"It's been an issue," neighbor David Scholl said. "But when it happened in June of 2020, it was definitely worse than it ever had been."
Scholl was lucky his home was spared, but homes next door and across the street are now being demolished.
"He had about 16 inches of water in his house," Scholl said about his next-door neighbor.
Martin County, through FEMA reimbursement, secured money to purchase 13 homes.
Scholl said he was told the demolitions would take about 45 days.
The county also made plans to make some drainage improvements.
"It's very bittersweet," Scholl said about watching the demolition.
He said a newly engaged couple lived in one of the homes. Others were longtime neighbors.
"These were people with families and they were our friends and it's really kind of sad to see them go," Scholl said. "But, at the same time, it was really sad to see empty house here, too."