MIRAMAR, Fla. – Nearly a week after Tropical Storm Eta soaked South Florida, many communities are still dealing with flooding issues.
And with coastal cities spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to mitigate sea-level rise and flooding, many in western neighborhoods are wondering what upgrades will help them.
In the Country Club Ranches community in Miramar, neighbors desperately pump water out of their flooded yards, into already overflowing canals.
“We’ve been stuck back there since, what, Sunday, Monday morning? Today was the first day I was able to get out,” resident Rafael Peralta said.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” fellow resident Yanays Larosa said. “My home got flooded with water, poop — it’s just horrible.”
Flood control systems largely performed as they were supposed to, but with more than 18 inches of rain, the system is still struggling to keep up and drain water out. Late last month, the South Florida Water Management District wrote to lawmakers requesting funding for a re-evaluation of the 72-year-old system, which “has not been evaluated for increasing risks to flood protection associated with 21st century conditions.”
Surveying the flooding, Miramar Vice Mayor Maxwell Chambers says many here still need drinking water.
“To look at some of the drainage issues, that would be a great help to residents here,” Chambers said.
Larosa, who is staying in a hotel with her mother and small children for now, says “I think it’s something that needs to be worked on ASAP.”
“I’m probably thinking by the beginning of January I’ll be back in the home living like a normal family again.”
Issues in Dade, too
In Miami-Dade County, residents have shared videos showing parking lots that still look more like lakes.
Some say they’ve been flooded in since last weekend, and it’s been a headache trying to get anything done about this mess.
“It’s bad. The garbage is in the water. The duck feces is in the water, and we have to walk through that,” said Miami-Dade resident Colette Saunders.
At the Glorieta Gardens apartments in Opa-locka, the stormwater was pumped out of the parking lot — but heavy rain Thursday filled it right back up again.
“Who knows what’s in the water," resident Kareen LeCorps said. “Especially now with the pandemic, and all the stuff going on, it’s really not sanitary.”