LONGWOOD, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - “Look at how deep that is. That’s just from a rain storm today,” a firefighter could be heard saying on smartphone video.
The video was captured by another firefighter at the Longwood Fire Department Firefighter inside their station on Warren Avenue.
In another video clip, you can see firefighters sandbagging their own digs trying to keep water out.
“Look at that. Looks like there’s no problem there, is there? This isn’t even a hurricane. It’s a rain storm and it’s just pouring in,” another firefighter is heard saying in the video.
One of Jeff Sonksen’s firefighter friends shared these videos with him. “It’s a big secret. They’re not allowed to talk about it,” said Sonksen.
“When you see that video does it make you mad?” FOX 35 asked. “Yeah. It irritates me. A lot of people have said the same thing, It’s embarrassing our city treats these people like this,” said Sonksen.
“The station has always had some flooding issues, we’ve just had an increased occurrence lately,” said Interim Fire Chief Michael Peters. He says that station has flooded three times in the last month. They have even had to pull the baseboards up.
While big rainstorms have been bad, video captured during Hurricane Irma looks even worst. Interim Chief Peters tells FOX 35 that his firefighters were forced to evacuate their own fire house in the midst of the Category 1 storm.
“It’s obviously frustrating for us all to have to deal with this.”
When FOX 35 asked if anyone had gotten sick from the firehouse being soaked he said, “no”.
The Longwood Fire Department brought in crews to dry out the walls, and tests came back saying the firehouse is safe. But the Longwood Fire Department Union President tells FOX 35 he and a few others are suffering sinus infections and sent FOX 35 pictures of prescription pill bottles for antibiotics they’ve been prescribed.