United States

South Florida: Amid Heavy Rains, 'Life-Threatening Flooding', Weather Services Forecast More Downpour | Details

“Regardless of development, heavy rainfall is forecast to continue across portions of the Florida peninsula during the next few days,” the hurricane centre said.

Visuals from flash flood situations in Florida. Photo: AP

Florida is gearing up for more heavy rainfall amid rare flash flood emergency in most parts of southern Florida, which was triggered by a topical disturbance.

The incessant downpour did not just affect the daily lives of people but also delayed the Florida Panthers who were on their way to the Stanley Cup games in Canada against Edmonton Oilers.

According to the National Hurricane Centre said that the disturbance has not yet reached the cyclone status, adding that it was given only a slight chance to form into a tropical system once it emerges into the Atlantic Ocean after crossing Florida.

“Regardless of development, heavy rainfall is forecast to continue across portions of the Florida peninsula during the next few days,” the hurricane centre posted on its website.

Several roads were flooded and made it impossible for vehicles to pass through. The Florida Highway Patrol said that on a major artery, Interstate 95 in Broward County, southbound traffic was being diverted around a flooded section.

The regional water management officials have also been engaged in draining way the water from communities as soon as possible, so that residents minimum inconvenience at such a time.

The interstate would not reopen until after the water is drained, the agency added.

The National Weather Service said that some areas, including parts of Broward and Miami-Dade countries were at a risk of "life-threatening flooding".

“Please stay off the roadways and get to higher ground," said NWS in a warning to the residents.

It said that the heavy downpour will create several areas of flash flooding, adding that many streams may also flood, bringing potential affect to larger rivers.


Mayors In Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood declared a state of emergency for their cities, while warning was also sounded in five counties of Florida -- Broward, Miami-Dade, Collier, Lee and Sarasota.

Meanwhile, several flights were either cancelled or delayed by over three hours at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.


Notably, fire emergency services helped 34 people evacuate from their homes and stranded vehicles, NBC News reported. So far, no major evacuations or shelters have been opened in the region.

Reportedly, Aventura police said that more than 300 vehicles were towed off the roads, adding that senior citizens were rescued from their trapped or stuck vehicles on Wednesday.


A forecaster with the service's Weather Prediction Centre in College Park, Maryland, Bob Oravec, said that a some places even reported up to 18-25 inches of rain since Monday.

Oravec said that the slow-moving storm is likely to hover over the state till Saturday before pushing out to the sea.

He also explained why there were such heavily flooded roads, saying that "the problem is that there is no place for the rain to go. The ground is so saturated. In some places water is rising up from the sewers."

A senior research associate at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School, Bryan McNoldy, said that some 9 inches (23 cms) of rain was received by parts of South Florida from 7 am to 6 pm on Wednesday. "We are in trouble," McNoldy said.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated that there is an 85% chance that the Atlantic hurricane season will be above average, forecasting between 17 and 25 named storms in the coming months. This also included up to 13 hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

(With inputs from agencies)