Crews working to prevent drainage, flooding issues in Loxahatchee

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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In the Loxahatchee and Acreage communities, people are getting ready for any impacts we may see from Hurricane Ian.

For those whose job it is to manage waterways and canals year-round, this is a critical time, and they said flooding is their biggest concern.

Crew chief Jacob Hoffman knew he was meant for this job at the Indian Trail Improvement District.

"I guess you could say, being a kid, you always like digging in the dirt. So it’s something I took with me," Hoffman said.

Hoffman and his team on Monday worked to unclog a drainage pipe and then rebuild a driveway off 61st Street and Royal Palm Beach Boulevard.

"It is pretty critical. As you can see, it does tend to back up and flood out the property," Hoffman said.

It's one of their many jobs as they try to get the district as prepared as possible before Hurricane Ian.

"We're prepared for tropical storm force winds. We’re prepared for eight to 10 inches of rain," said chief operating officer Jason Lester.

Lester said the Indian Trail Improvement District starts preparing for hurricane season in May, but kicks into high gear when a storm is approaching.

"We’ve been doing a lot of pumping, dropping the gates. As you can see here, water is moving. We’ve been doing this since last Thursday," Lester said.

The region is no stranger to flooding.

WFLX captured video in Loxahatchee Groves after excessive rain in 2018, and at Barky Pines Animal Rescue in Loxahatchee as well.

"Sometimes after a storm hits, I spend a week or two until I can get back and check on my own property and make sure everything is in order back home," Hoffman said.

Hoffman said working to prevent those flooding situations motivates him to get the job done.

"I enjoy seeing the expression from people who come forward to you after you allow them back access into their property after it’s flooded," Hoffman said.

Crews are reminding homeowners to take care of yard debris that could be laying around, as you don't want anything to clog the drains. Also, make sure your swales are clear.

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