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Flooding forces Gifford graves above ground

9:59 AM, Nov 3, 2011   |    comments
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GIFFORD, Fla. -- Vero Beach and surrounding areas are soaked from all the recent rain. The flooding is affecting above ground and below ground.

The rains have forced a number of caskets at the cemetery in Gifford, north of Vero Beach, to rise above ground.

Tanya Robinson-McDonald's mother was the world to her.

"She died in 2010, July 4th 2010. You know, it's been a hard process to get used to," said Tanya.

Tanya's mother was buried at the Gifford Cemetery. When Tanya last came to visit a few days ago, she couldn't believe what she saw.

"Just horrible, just to see these kinds of conditions," said Tanya.

Like a scene from a horror movie, the concrete encasements holding the coffins, popping out of the ground, pushed up from this weekend's flooding rains. But two days later, no one has come to take care of the problem.

"I've been researching who owns this property, who's the caretaker of the graveyard and cemetery here," said Tanya.

CBS 12 contacted Clyde Hayes, who is in charge of the cemetery. When we asked him if he plans on fixing the issue, he said his maintenance people in Fort Pierce handle that. Asked if he contacted them about the floating caskets, he said no.

"Nobody has come out and showed an interest in it. And it's just a down right shame. You know you put your money into a funeral service, into a graveyard cemetery, and this is the service that you get," said Tanya.

Tanya feels those who have loved ones buried here should be entitled to some form of compensation.

"You know we paid the people their money, refund their back or do something because this is pathetic. This is very pathetic here," said Tanya.

Some of the people we saw earlier visiting loved ones, actually came with their own gardening tools, taking the upkeeping responsibilities into their own hands. Typically in a situation like this, you have to wait for the water to fully recede before you can take action. 

CBS12

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