Florida’s 2024 hurricane season arrives with rainy deluge

Dangerous flooding from a tropical disturbance inundated much of South Florida on Wednesday, blocking roads, floating vehicles and delaying the Florida Panthers en route to the Stanley Cup games in Canada against the Oilers. ‘Edmonton.

The disorganized storm system was moving across Florida from the Gulf of Mexico around the same time as the start of hurricane season in early June, which is this year should be among the most active In recent memory, there has been concern that the change could increase the intensity of storms.

The disturbance did not reach cyclone status and had only a small chance of transforming into a tropical system once it emerges into the Atlantic Ocean after crossing Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“Regardless of how the situation develops, heavy rain is expected to continue in parts of the Florida Peninsula over the next several days,” the hurricane center posted on its website Wednesday.

Many roads were flooded and impassable to vehicles. On the main artery Interstate 95 in Broward County, southbound traffic was diverted around a flooded section and contractors were on their way to pump out the drainage system, the Florida Highway Patrol said in an email . The highway would not reopen until the water had drained, the agency said.

The Miami Weather Service office has issued increasingly serious warnings.

“Life-threatening flooding is now underway,” the service said on social media platform X. “Please stay off the roads and go to higher ground.”

The mayors of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood declared a state of emergency in their cities Wednesday afternoon. Later Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also declared a state of emergency in five counties: Broward and Miami-Dade on Florida’s Atlantic coast and Collier, Lee and Sarasota counties on the state’s west coast.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also declared a local state of emergency.

“Due to continued heavy rain, several roads in the City of Fort Lauderdale, including major arterial roads like Broward Boulevard and Federal Highway near downtown, are experiencing high water levels,” said Fort Mayor Lauderdale, Dean Trantalis, on X.

In nearby Hollywood, Mike Viesel was walking home Wednesday afternoon with his dog Humi when he was caught in deep floodwaters along a low-lying street, he told the Miami Herald.

As he slowed and stopped, Viesel said other cars passed him, sending even more water into his vehicle. His engine stalled.

“I would get out of my car,” he told the Herald, but his dog “has a water problem.”

In Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood, the lobby of the building Alfredo Rodriguez moved into a year ago already contained puddles of water Wednesday morning. He told the Miami Herald that the building had flooded five times since he moved in.

“It was a surprise to me. I want to leave this place in the next three months. It’s horrible. I can’t park my car,” he said of the flooded streets.

Dozens of flights were delayed or canceled at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The NHL’s Florida Panthers were delayed more than three hours before leaving Fort Lauderdale for their nearly six-hour flight to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Further north, the National Weather Service in Melbourne confirmed that an EF-1 tornado struck Hobe Sound on Florida’s Atlantic coast, north of West Palm Beach, on Wednesday morning.

The winds toppled several banyan trees and caused damage to a store, Martin County fire officials said. No injuries were reported, but access to the wealthy island of Jupiter was cut off by debris on the road.

It’s already been a rainy and windy week in Florida. In Miami, about 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain fell Tuesday and 7 inches (17 centimeters) in Miami Beach, according to the National Weather Service. Hollywood got about 5 inches (12 centimeters).

Bryan McNoldy, senior research associate at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School, noted on .

“We are in trouble,” McNoldy wrote.

More rain was forecast for the rest of the week, leading the Miami Weather Service office to extend a flash flood watch through Thursday. Some places could see another 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain.

The western part of the state, much of which is located prolonged drought, also received significant precipitation. Nearly 6.5 inches of rain fell Tuesday at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, according to the weather service, and flash flood warnings were also in effect in those areas.

Forecasts call for an unusually busy hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates 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, including up to 13 hurricanes and four major hurricanes. An average season has 14 named storms.

Fort Lauderdale was hit hard in April 2023 With record rainfall totals ranging from 15 inches (38 centimeters) to 26 inches (66 centimeters). Many homes and businesses were flooded.


Associated Press sports writer Stephen Whyno in Edmonton, Canada, and Freida Frisaro in Cooper City, Florida, contributed to this story.

Leave a Comment