Florida braces for more precipitation after days of intense downpours and flash flooding

A slow-moving storm system infused with deep tropical moisture over South Florida will bring more very heavy rain and thunderstorms Thursday — a day after flash flooding turned streets into rivers and triggered hundreds of delays and flight cancellations. More than a foot of rain was recorded in several areas.

Seven million people remained under surveillance Thursday in South Florida for what was expected to be a third day of intense deluge.

“Even a short duration of heavy rainfall could lead to more flash flooding!” The National Weather Service office in Miami warned of X.

As of Thursday morning, flood warnings may have expired in parts of South Florida, but residual flooding continues and several roads remain closed in hard-hit areas. Heavy rain is expected to intensify in the afternoon and evening.

The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center has issued a moderate risk for excessive precipitation through Friday morning.

Heavy rain will create “numerous areas of flash flooding,” the weather service said. “In addition, many rivers could overflow, which could affect larger rivers. »

The Miami metro area has virtually no tolerance for additional rain. Flash flood guidelines reveal that it will take less than 0.25 inches of rain in just one hour to cause flash flooding in parts of the metro area.

Wednesday’s downpour saw the governor. Ron DeSantis declares a state of emergency in Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade and Sarasota counties, authorizing state aid. The cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood also issued emergency declarations.

Cars were stuck on flooded roads, homes were filled with water, residents were told to stay in their residences, local airports experienced hundreds of delays and cancellations, and some of the Interstate 95 in Broward County was closed to traffic to allow water to drain.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Thursday afternoon that a flood watch continues in the county through Friday evening, and the hardest hit areas yesterday were Aventura, Surfside, Belle Harbor and parts of North Dade.

Fire emergency services helped 34 people evacuate following 16 calls – three of those calls were to homes and 13 were from stranded vehicles.

There are no mandatory evacuations and no shelters are opening Thursday. So far, all major roads are clear and open and drinking water is safe to drink, she said.

She urged residents to stay home and move away from roads to avoid being swept away by floodwaters.

Police in the town of Aventura said more than 300 vehicles were towed off the roads and elderly people were rescued from stuck vehicles Wednesday.

Hallandale Beach received 19 inches of water in five hours, Michael Kane of Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue said Thursday. Emergency services responded to 175 flood-related calls, most calling for the rescue of cars and not people. Around 35 people were rescued on Wednesday.

Kane said deep sea rescue vehicles and boats were deployed and several families were rescued. Many homes were “not flooded but had high water levels” and elderly or disabled people had to be rescued by boat. No injuries were reported as a result of the flooding.

Fort Lauderdale received 9.54 inches of rain in 24 hours, with Wednesday marking the wettest June day on record and the third wettest calendar day on record.

A flooded street in Hollywood, Florida, on Wednesday. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Overall, at least six weather stations from Miami to Fort Lauderdale recorded more than 10 inches of rain, with the highest being 13.96 inches over Hialeah and 12.67 inches over the region from Hollywood/Hallandale Beach. Most of the 10 to 12 inches of rain totals occurred in just five to six hours Wednesday.

Combining Tuesday’s precipitation, some areas of South Florida received more than 20 inches of rain in just two days.

The more than a foot of rain that fell in just six hours on the Everglades met the criteria for a one-in-1,000-year event – ​​the second in just two days.

The threat of excessive precipitation will diminish slightly over the southern tip of Florida on Friday, and a slight risk of excessive precipitation is in place for South Florida Friday through Saturday morning.

Through Saturday morning, an additional 5 to 10 inches of rain will be possible, including in the Naples, Fort Myers, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach metro areas.

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