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:
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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.

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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.
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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):
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Also in Escondido (east side of Lyons south of Glades):
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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:
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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.
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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.

Crash Update at SW 18th and Lyons

Looking north at intersection of SW 18th and Lyons; image and map data from Google
Looking north at intersection of SW 18th and Lyons; image and map data from Google

The Palm Beach Sheriff released some details from the bicycle-SUV collision at the corner of SW 18th and Lyons. According to their report, the bicycle was traveling in the crosswalk from the northeast corner to the northwest corner (right to left in the picture above) when it was struck by a 2009 Chevy Equinox, indicating an address in the Kings Point community in Delray Beach. That vehicle drove off but was found a short distance away, unoccupied.
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The bicyclist, Beth Jamine (44), was initially reported in critical condition. That has apparently been upgraded to serious. It is our understanding that Ms. Jamine suffered from some fractures, a pneumothorax, and may need surgery, but she is likely to recover well.
Beth Jamine
Beth Jamine

Ms. Jamine’s reported address is in the Isle of Boca Dunes on the west side of Lyons Road at SW 8th, not far from the accident scene.
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PBSO indicated the driver is unknown. The address they attribute to the vehicle is owned, according to property appraiser records, by Richard and Harriete Birnbaum. That record shows a Brooklyn mailing address for them.
If any readers have leads on the driver please let us know or contact PBSO Investigator Sean Ramsey.

Mizner Trail Going Ahead with 250+ Homes

In January of last year we reported on a proposal to add 288 new housing units in Boca Del Mar, replacing an old golf course. That proposal, now whittled down to 252 homes, appears set to be built in the near future.

Site Plan for Mizner Trail. This version still shows the old 288-home layout.
Site Plan for Mizner Trail. This version still shows the old 288-home layout.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that the last opposition to the new development will not appeal any further.
In our review of various documents we can’t find a solid number of actual units that will be built, nor clear indications as to what will be built. The Mizner Trail website claims it will be:

252 luxury units are proposed, 115 patio homes and 137 townhomes. Units will range from 2300 square feet to over 3500 square feet with prices ranging from approximately $425,000 to $695,000 or more.

We’re not even sure what a patio home is, and the same website has a site plan showing 288 homes rather than just 252. We’ve seen other numbers including 255 and 253. So it’s not fully settled yet. The Sun-Sentinel did note that some hurdles remain with permitting so it may get worn down a bit more in the bureaucratic grinder.
The area in question lies between West Camino Real and SW 18th, to the west of Military Trail:

The full site plan pdf is below:
[gview file=”https://westbocanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/2013-10-14_FINAL.pdf”]

School Bus Crash on SW 18th

WPTV is reporting a school bus crash on SW 18th at Promenade, which is between the Turnpike and Powerline Road going through Boca Pointe.

From Google Maps it looks like there is some traffic impact, but not much. We saw the report on the TV news this morning but have not heard anything from readers. WPTV reports that two people were taken to the hospital as a result of this crash.
The Palm Beach Post reports that seven students were on the bus and that the crash happened around 6:30 this morning.

Major Fire in Boca Del Mar

A very serious fire broke out this morning in an apartment building:

***BOCA RATON*** WORKING HIGH-RISE STRUCTURE FIRE — 5622 Wellesley Park Dr (Somerset Place) — Palm Beach County Fire Rescue R500 onscene of a multi-story apartment bldg, heavy flames coming out of the 2nd story spreading up to the 3rd story — Tac 8A

Somerset Place is an apartment complex in the eastern end of Boca Del Mar, near Military Trail between Camino Real and SW 18th.
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Fire Rescue requested additional support after the initial alert:

UPDATE: Boca Raton fire is upgraded to a 2nd Alarm, also requesting 4 more Engines and Rescues

Thanks to Palm Beach County Alerts for the tip.

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