Fort Lauderdale Homeowners Plead for Solutions After Homes Flooded in Climate Change Concerns
Five years ago, Lisa Thomas found her dream home in Fort Lauderdale, only to have heavy rainstorms wreck every part of it. The 26-inch dump that followed over the course of several hours left 1,100 homes in need of serious repair. Thomas, her husband, newborn twins, and son moved to Boca Raton to live with her parents while waiting for their home to be livable again. The city is planning to upgrade the drainage infrastructure in 25 neighborhoods to cope with greater storm intensity due to climate change. The oldest infrastructure took the hardest hit from the rainstorm that hit on April 12, and many neighborhoods were completely soaked as a result of the storm.
The city has begun upgrading the drainage in important neighborhoods such as River Oaks and Edgewood, but it won’t be completed until 2025. Residents in 17 neighborhoods, including Riverland Landings, Shady Banks, and Melrose Park, may have to wait until 2031 or 2034 for a complete change in their drainage infrastructure, as Fort Lauderdale’s upgraded infrastructure can’t handle the 26 inches of rain that fell during the storm. City officials have acknowledged that 26 inches of rain is the new normal and is addressing the issue as quickly as they are able to.
Homeowners like Lisa Thomas and Teri Schuett from the Shady Banks neighborhood are pleading for the city to act more quickly. Despite this situation, Thomas plans to remain in her house despite issues, stating that it has always been her dream to live near the beach, while her husband’s positive perspective is helping her get through these rough times.