South Florida compared to scenes from a ‘zombie movie’ as widespread flooding prompts rare warning

South Florida was left in a state of emergency after rainy days dumped more than a foot of rain on many parts of the region. The deluge created what have been compared to scenes from a “zombie movie” and triggered a rare warning from the National Weather Service as rainfall continues Friday.

“It looked like the beginning of a zombie movie,” tow truck driver Ted Rico told the Associated Press. “There are cars littered everywhere, on the sidewalks, in the median, in the middle of the street, no lights on. It’s just crazy, you know. Abandoned cars everywhere.”

Oscar Trejo sits in a car after putting the vehicle in neutral as he attempts to pull it out of the canal on June 13, 2024, in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The driver of the vehicle said she drove into the canal after following GPS instructions and could not see the actual road because of floodwaters.

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Rico, a longtime Miami resident who helped rid the streets of broken-down cars, said that “every year it just gets worse.”

Downpours that began earlier this week triggered a rare “high risk” warning for excessive precipitation from the National Weather Service on Thursday. The agency said soils overly saturated by precipitation created the possibility of flash flooding and could bring an additional 10 inches of rain to some locations.

The last time such a warning was issued was in 2022, said David Parkinson, CBS News senior weather producer. Since Friday, the risk of excessive precipitation has been reduced to moderate, he added.

Despite the downgraded warning, there is still a risk of significant damage and flooding. The NWS said Friday morning that continued rainfall could cause “considerable to locally catastrophic urban flooding” throughout the day in South Florida. The service’s Miami station says a flood watch will remain in effect until Friday evening.

About 20 inches of rain — nearly 2 feet — fell in some areas, and forecasters said another 2 to 4 inches of rain was possible Friday, with some areas seeing even higher amounts. While hurricane forecaster Alex DaSilva told The Associated Press that June was Florida’s wettest month, he said it was “unusual” how much rain fell in just a few days.

Two weather systems are causing the weather, DaSilva told the AP, saying they are essentially working to channel moisture from the Caribbean.

“It’s basically a fire hose activated in jet mode,” DaSilva said. “We also have a blocked front across Florida, which has contributed to increased precipitation.”

Torrential rains and floods that closed streets and even caused a An event in 1,000 years Farther north in Sarasota, it comes at the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, which officials said would be “extremely active

This hurricane season, which officially began on June 1, is expected 25 named stormsup to 13 hurricanes and between four and seven major hurricanes of at least Category 3. Major hurricane status does not mean, however, that lesser hurricanes or storms will not pose significant threats in their own right, because the classification of hurricanes depends solely on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, which only takes into account wind speed and not storm surge, flooding and other impacts.

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