DAVIE, Fla. – Broward County residents remain frustrated Thursday that their neighborhoods are still flooded even though it’s been three days since Tropical Storm Eta pulled away from the region.
Officials say the fact that it keeps raining is making it take longer for the water to recede.
That’s why pumps were out in Davie Thursday.
Local 10 News had a crew in the area and it looked like the water had receded by about a foot.
But residents say it’s not happening fast enough.
The water is too high for Air Force veteran Dick Postlethwaite to move his vehicle, so the only way to leave his house is walking through the floodwaters.
“This is the worst we’ve ever had,” he said.
For the last several days, crews have been pumping water out of his flooded neighborhood on Southwest 22nd Court and Hiatus Road, where a pickup truck stalled out Thursday morning.
The Public Works Department is currently running five pumps in the town of Davie.
“You got to be careful where you pump because you could be helping one community at the expense of another one, so it’s a balancing act,” Davie Public Works Director Osdel Larrea said.
Officials say it’s taking a long time to drain the water because the ground was already saturated from a bad rainstorm two weeks ago.
The heavy rain from Eta this week overwhelmed the system.
“In the past 21 days, you had close to 30 inches of rain. I’ve been here 31 years and I’ve never seen in 31 years this much,” said Matt Crowley, of the Central Broward Water Control District.
At 94 years old, Postlethwaite is worried he won’t be able to get to his doctor’s appointment next week if the flooding doesn’t recede soon.
“I shouldn’t say this, the town doesn’t care,” he said. “They just don’t want to spend the money to get the drainage straightened out around here.”
“We’re trying to get this water down as soon as possible. But also, you know, we need to be patient,” Larrea said.
The Public Works director said the town of Davie is considering a $2 million project to expand the pipes that allow the floodwaters to drain from these neighborhoods.
He said it will take several more days for all the water to recede.
Meanwhile, many schools in Broward had to go back to online learning this week due to flooding and power issues.
Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie toured West Broward High School in Pembroke Pines Thursday, which he said had the most damage of any campuses in the school district.
Local 10 News reporter Ian Margol was on campus Thursday and said classrooms and the front office were flooded.
Much of the water has since receded, but school officials are still trying to figure out how long it will take for the campus to dry out.
Runcie said students at the school will continue with online learning for the remainder of the week and possibly into next week depending on the extent of the damage.
“We’ve got to make sure that the cleanup work and the mitigation is done right, and it’s done according to quality standards and every other safety measure we have in place,” Runcie said.