Flooding in West Boca Raton: Photos and Stories

We posted a few reader photos of flooding on Facebook last night. Other readers responded with more, and with stories. The flooding was so bad it got inside Town Center Mall:
mall-flood
That first photo is from our own kid getting in on the action. We also received mall photos from readers. This one is also from inside:
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Parking areas were also flooded.
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Reader Robyn Becker-Bracero sent us several photos including this one of her feet underwater.
Reader Robyn Becker-Bracero sent us several photos including this one of her feet underwater.

Robyn Becker-Bracero told us:

It was inside the mall. The water was pouring in through the employee/security entrance next to Macy’s and the Apple Store. It started coming in quick. Several people were video taping. It was even worse outside under the covered lot at Macy’s exit.

macys-entrance
We saw flooding ourselves in Town Center Circle (east side of Military south of Glades) with water up to several inches deep at its worst. Leaving that plaza we were about to turn onto NW 19th but the water looked very deep so we converted that left into a U-turn and headed south on Palmetto Park Road. There was significant flooding on Palmetto, especially on the westbound side in the right lanes both near the Kabbalah Center (just west of Turnpike) and at the intersection with Lyons Road.
Readers also reported significant flooding along SW 18th west of Powerline and near Boca Rio.
sw18th-flood
Lindsay Roffman-Schwimmer reported:

My SUV was stuck in boca pointe last night. Hundreds of cars were just sitting ducks.. some of them were floating by me. I couldn’t tell what was the lake and what was the road. I pulled into a sub development and waited in a guest spot that was raised on higher ground. My boyfriend had to come in his truck and rescue me.
Many smaller luxury cars were submerged in water up to their windows. It was literally a mini natural disaster area.. Also including SW 18th street areas. I hope everyone is safe now.

In the same area Melisa Mely said:

I have never seen more water on the 18th Street. Some cars actually got stuck. I’m glad I made it home.

There was more flooding in Watergate Estates (aka West Sandalfoot):
watergate-flood2
watergate-flood1
Also in Escondido (east side of Lyons south of Glades):
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escondido
Even the French residents got in on it, from Bensimon Nessim:

C’est catastrophique, le pire c’est que contre les inondations on ne peut pas faire grand chose
(Translation) It is catastrophic, the worst part is that against the floods we can’t do much

And there were just places where traffic went deep:
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Reader estimates of total rainfall varied from 1.5 to over 5 inches. We estimate 4-5 inches fell in Boca Falls from our own somewhat reliable method (rise in the level of our pool). For arguably more reliable numbers, we have this from the National Weather Service:
nws-rainfall
There was significant coverage of the flooding in other media. Our favorite was WPTV reporting that Boca Raton City Hall experienced flooding on both the 1st and 2nd floors. Second floor?
Update: Bonus photo from reader Samir. This one is in East Boca on Federal Highway.
samir
One other detail that was mildly amusing, where the National Weather Service posted a tornado warning recommending people go to their basements, which is not terribly practical in South Florida.
Tornado Warning issued March 24 at 6:49PM EDT until March 24 at 7:15PM EDT by NWS Miami THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A * TORNADO WARNING FOR… NORTHEASTERN BROWARD COUNTY IN SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA… SOUTHEASTERN PALM BEACH COUNTY IN SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA… * UNTIL 715 PM EDT * AT 649 PM EDT…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO WAS LOCATED OVER COCONUT CREEK…OR OVER MARGATE…MOVING EAST AT 15 MPH. HAZARD…TORNADO. SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED ROTATION. IMPACT…FLYING DEBRIS WILL BE DANGEROUS TO THOSE CAUGHT WITHOUT SHELTER. MOBILE HOMES WILL BE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. DAMAGE TO ROOFS…WINDOWS…AND VEHICLES WILL OCCUR. TREE DAMAGE IS LIKELY. * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… CORAL SPRINGS…POMPANO BEACH…BOCA RATON…DEERFIELD BEACH AND TAMARAC. TORNADO…RADAR INDICATED HAIL…0.00IN TAKE COVER NOW! MOVE TO A BASEMENT OR AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF YOU ARE OUTDOORS…IN A MOBILE HOME…OR IN A VEHICLE…MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

An Artist in West Sandalfoot

From reader Abby Dworkin Diab, about an artist living in West Sandalfoot aka Watergate Estates:
lombardi
Those who pass by Stephen Lombardi’s home on Sailfish Road have been treated to an ever changing array of brilliant fine art displayed in the east facing windows. What many do not know is that the showcase is only a small sampling of the work which graces the walls inside. His home has been literally transformed into a museum quality gallery, he possesses no furniture and doesn’t want any, just space to hang beautiful paintings.
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When asked when he knew he was an artist, Stephen says, “as a young boy, the joy that I felt scribbling with crayons brought ideas to my mind that blended nature with the unlimited possibilities of my imagination, it was obvious then.” His work, which he calls Visionary Surrealism, is truly unique and inspired. He depicts invented characters such as Sapien and the Colored Man on a mystical journey meeting a wide variety of both imaginary and realistic friends, animals and plant life along the way. Most of his paintings contain hidden messages, faces and other recognizable features nested in the shadows waiting to be discovered by the observer. The longer you look at one of these paintings, the more you see.
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A self-taught artist, Stephen’s works have been exhibited in major cities across the country, Boston, Manhattan, Phoenix, and San Antonio to name a few. Currently he has pieces on display at the Boca Raton Artist Guild Gallery, where he is the Gallery Technician responsible for arrangement and hanging of all shows, and at the Linda White Gallery where he does the same. Stephen is available to do custom murals, oil paintings or art instruction, his personal gallery is open to the public.
The Boca Raton Artists Guild Gallery is at 512 East Atlantic Ave, the Linda White Gallery is at 354 NE 4th Street, both in Delray Beach. For a look at Stephen’s body of work click this link or call 508-341-8071 to arrange a viewing at his home gallery in West Boca.
Additional works sent to us by Mr. Lombardi are below:
Rhino Soul, 60 x 48 inches, oil on canvas is on display presently at the Boca Raton Art Museum’s Artist Guild Gallery on East Atlantic in Delray
RhinoSoul
Keziah, 32 x 28 inches, oil on canvas is on display at the Linda White Gallery in Artist Alley, Delray their 3rd Thursday Art Walk is tomorrow night 6 to 10 p.m.
40 x 30 giclee prints of this work are available.
Keziah
Rainbow Seed, 40 x 30 inches, oil on canvas
RainbowSeed
Elephant Soul, 60 x 48 inches, oil on canvas
ElephantSoul