FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents in Broward County continue to battle the frustrations that come with the floodwaters Tropical Storm Eta left behind.
The sunshine has returned, but the drying out process is taking longer than most residents would like.
In Lauderhill, the Swap Shop had to close temporarily after inches of water saturated the property.
Some employees returned to the property in hopes of going back to work, but the floodwaters got in the way of that.
“This is our livelihood here,” one man said.
Business owners and employees are not sure when they will be able to return to work.
“I don’t know what’s going on inside because nobody’s seen it,” one man said. “Nobody’s allowed to go inside.”
“Nobody has the right answer,” another man said. “You go upstairs, you try talking to the ladies, she’s going to throw it in somebody else. It’s like they don’t care half of the time.”
Some people said a pump problem may be to blame for the standing water.
“Without the pumps, we can’t do nothing,” one man said. “Hopefully, they get the pumps fixed. We want to just go in there and just check what’s going on in our business, at least. Try to save as much as we can.”
While some streets have dried out, the flooding is still rampant across Broward.
School bus drivers were forced to navigate through floodwaters before even leaving the terminal.
Fort Lauderdale’s Melrose Park also remains soaked and residents are upset.
Marie Morency has a mess on her hands, with piles of wet clothes stacked up high.
When asked how she could clean up everything, she said, “I don’t know.”
Boxes of items Morency had planned to send to Haiti were wet and crumbling. Eta brought about a foot of water into her home.
“Saturday, Sunday, wow,” she said.
Morency is far from alone.
“Getting up in the morning and smelling mildew, smelling the water that’s sitting some feet in your house and not knowing what to do and can’t do anything, you feel hopeless,” said Selena Cook. “I didn’t sleep last night. I did not sleep. I tried. Every time it rained, I jump and look out the window.”
Linda Lowell told 7News that she feels forgotten.
“It’s not a good feeling,” she said as she fought back the tears. “I just need the water vacuumed, so I can get to my home. I have animals.”
Near Southwest 27th Avenue and Seventh Street, the water, though slowly, has started to recede.
Dozens of families, however, are still trapped in their homes despite the city’s best efforts to clear the standing water.
“I can’t get to my house. The electricity is off,” Lowell said. “We’re like the forgotten part of Fort Lauderdale.”
“To me, living in Fort Lauderdale, it shouldn’t be a nightmare, it should be a dream,” Cook said.
Cook said that dream is being drowned out by the loud noise of fans drying out her home and the smell of bleach.
“I’m not sure if mold is in the wall, but I’m just gonna blow it, bleach it and see what comes with that,” she said.
Even after all the water has receded, many families will have to deal with the damage left behind.
“We’re just here, just waiting. Just waiting. Don’t know what’s going to happen now with the mildew,” said America Lazarre.
Lazarre and her kids did their best to clean up, but now the girls are back to their virtual classes.
Cellphone video showed Lazarre walking through an inch or more of standing water in her bedroom Monday.
“I just don’t wanna be here when mildew starts forming and we have to inhale it and get sick. That’s not what I want,” Lazarre said.
The dangers of floodwater are not only swirling inside. Surveillance footage captured someone taking an unexpected fall while treading water Monday night.
Further down the block, some residents were forced to buy their own pumps instead of waiting on city workers to pump out the floodwater.
“If the water comes in, that’s it. We’re done,” said a resident.
As water flows down the drain, so are the suspicions.
“I suspect it may be something to do with the issue of clogged drains in the area,” said another resident.
“Pump trucks are fine, but cleaning the system is better,” Cook said.
Meanwhile, parts of Plantation have been without power.
“All of our food is spoiled, and we’re barely able to get our cars out,” said Xavier Delatorre.
Heather Bodden in Lauderhill said a canal near her home flooded, and she had nearly four inches of water inside her home.
Bodden said in the 41 years that she’s lived in her home, she has never seen rains from a tropical storm heavy enough to flood her home.
“We have seen flooding, but it has never… It surrounded my home. All four sides, the water was up,” she said.
Fortunately, the water has gone down significantly.
Bodden said the water began to rise on Saturday, and she began to worry on Sunday when she saw it approaching her home.
“The water started coming up Sunday afternoon,” she said. “The bridge was breached, so the water was running all the way down the road. It was just unbelievable. Then, my garage flooded with about six inches of water, and then here, they’ve been working for about two hours already, sucking up water out here.”
Bodden said she considers herself lucky because she had access to a family friend who is helping to clean the damage to her home.
“This is the worst we have seen since I’ve been in the business,” said J.R. Edwards of Economical Cleaning and Restoration.
The high water made it difficult to safely drive in Plantation and Davie, where you simply can’t see the road at all.
“The worst thing is getting in and getting out, going to work, getting groceries and stuff like that,” said Kumar Kapesaud.
Flowers were seen peaking at the top of the surface of the water at the Sunrise Memorial Gardens cemetery.
Local leaders said help is on the way to the hardest-hit areas.
“We have dispatched pumps and trucks into those areas to ensure that those drains that are clogged are being cleared,” said Broward County Mayor Dale Holness.
Residents said they recently spent $2 million to improve the drainage system, and judging by the slow recession of floodwater, they are not satisfied.
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