South Florida Faces Extended Threat of Urban FLOODING as RAINFALL Shows No Signs of Abating

Image by: Axios

Heavy rain that has caused continuous flooding in South Florida since Tuesday will continue for the fourth day in a row, turning roadways into canals and causing some homeowners to stand on their car roofs or slog through waist-deep water.

Even as the persistent tropical moisture that is powering the soaking storms progressively moves out of the area, Friday will be another deluge day in South Florida, with many cities expecting more than 2 feet of rain from Tuesday to Friday.

“Heavy to excessive rainfall will continue to bring flooding, with locally considerable flash and urban flooding possible, through Friday over the southern Florida Peninsula,” according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy rains began flooding the region on Tuesday, and the water has reached waist-deep levels in several areas. Hazardous circumstances on streets and roadways have left cars stranded and rendered roads unusable. They have also prompted the closure of certain schools in hard-hit regions, as well as the cancellation or delay of hundreds of flights.

Gulf moisture continues to stream across South Florida, where the Weather Prediction Center has issued a level 2 of 4 flood hazard through Friday, which is lower than the rare high risk of extreme rainfall witnessed Thursday.

Flood watches remain in effect for roughly 7 million people in South Florida, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale, until Friday evening. An further 2 to 4 inches or more of rain is forecast through Friday night, although thunderstorm activity is likely to lessen throughout the weekend.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a state of emergency in Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade, and Sarasota counties, and officials have urged residents to stay at home rather than walk or drive through the floodwaters that have inundated streets and crept into houses. Many communities have distributed sandbags to people to assist combat rising flooding.

Multiple waves of heavy downpours struck the southern Florida Peninsula on Thursday, powered by a firehose of tropical moisture from the Caribbean. Floodwaters have yet to drain completely, and some towns in and north of the Miami metro were still underwater Thursday morning, according to overhead imagery.

According to the National Weather Service, continued downpours in South Florida may result in further urban flooding through Friday. Other parts of the state may still experience flash and urban floods through Saturday.

Flooding reintroduced familiar concerns for Florida homeowners.

Flooding from the rainfall has deluged South Florida since Tuesday morning, with footage on social media showing water levels approaching vehicle windows and overflowing parking decks and neighborhood streets.

Notably, many South Florida families had just finished fixing their homes following disastrous floods in April 2023, only to see water on their doorsteps this week.

In Miami, video captured stuck cars that were nearly completely buried in water. According to CNN affiliate WSVN, one family’s yard resembled a lake as possessions floated outdoors and were recovered from the standing water.

“I’m scared,” 11-year-old Somaya Ferdinand told WSVN as she waded through thigh-deep water outside her home in Northeast Miami-Dade. “It looked like a swimming pool.”

In Hallandale Beach, just north of Miami, film showed a guy kayaking among cars as high seas overwhelmed the city. According to Michael Kane, Fire Rescue Battalion Chief for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, some mobile home parks were underwater.

On Wednesday, severe flooding submerged cars up to the windshields, forcing several drivers to abandon their stalled vehicles and wade to safety. Others needed to be saved.

“We had to use our boats to rescue people standing on top of the roofs of cars,” Kane stated to CNN. Kane’s office got 175 calls for assistance from Hallandale Beach alone.

Anna Rysedorph, a resident of Broward County’s Edgewood community, braced herself for the worst when water ringed her ankles in her home.

“I put the dogs in and am all packed up. “I’ve pretty much got everything in bins and we’re good to go,” Edgewood homeowner Anna Rysedorph told CNN affiliate WSVN Wednesday. “My husband’s like ‘Don’t panic, don’t panic,’ but you know, I’m not gonna be caught unprepared.”

Severe Storms Will Affect the High Plains, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic on Friday

As Florida cope with the deluge, another system is expected to deliver severe thunderstorms with huge hail and powerful winds to the Northern and Central powerful Plains, as well as parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic on Friday.

Thunderstorms are anticipated to hit the High Plains Friday afternoon and continue into the evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Two regions face a slight level 2 of 5 danger of severe thunderstorms: the middle High Plains and the Mid-Atlantic to southern New England. The threat in the Central US encompasses areas of Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas, while the Northeast threat extends from northern Virginia to Maine, including Boston.

New York City, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Boston are all under a lower level 1 of 5 severe storm threat.

Severe storms with huge hail and strong wind gusts are expected along the Front Range and into the Central Plains Friday afternoon and evening.

“Scattered severe storms with large hail and wind gusts of 60-80 mph will be possible from mid-afternoon through the evening on Friday along the Front Range to the central Great Plains,” according to the Storm Prediction Center. “Scattered strong storms with sporadic damaging winds and isolated hail will be possible across the Northeast States during the afternoon to early evening.”

Storms are forecast to form over western Pennsylvania Friday afternoon and proceed to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic coasts that evening.


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