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Florida Prepares For Additional Rain Following Days Of Heavy Downpours And Flash Flooding

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A slow-moving storm system infused with deep tropical moisture continued to bring heavy rain and thunderstorms to South Florida on Thursday, following a day of flash flooding that turned streets into rivers and disrupted hundreds of flights. Several areas recorded over a foot of rain.

Seven million people remained under a flood watch Thursday across South Florida, facing a forecast of a third day of intense rain.

By Thursday morning, flood warnings had expired in some parts of southern Florida, but residual flooding persisted, and several roads remained closed in severely affected areas. Heavy rain was expected to intensify in the evening.

The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center issued a high-risk advisory for excessive rain in parts of southern Florida, including metropolitan Miami.

The weather service warned that the heavy rain could cause “numerous areas of flash flooding” and potentially lead to flooding in larger rivers.

The Miami area has almost no capacity to handle additional rain. Flash flood guidance indicated that less than 0.25 inches of rain in one hour could cause immediate flooding in parts of the metro area.

Wednesday’s downpour prompted Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare an emergency in Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade, and Sarasota counties, enabling state aid. Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Hollywood also issued emergency declarations.

Cars were stranded on flooded roads, homes were inundated with water, residents were urged to stay indoors, local airports experienced hundreds of delays and cancellations, and part of Interstate 95 in Broward County was closed to allow water drainage.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced Thursday afternoon that a flood watch would continue in the county through Friday evening. The hardest-hit areas on Wednesday were Aventura, Surfside, Belle Harbor, and parts of North Dade.

Emergency services assisted 34 people in evacuating from 16 incidents, three at homes and 13 from stranded vehicles.

There were no mandatory evacuations or shelters opened on Thursday. Major roads were reported to be clear and open, and drinking water remained safe, she said.

She urged residents to stay home and avoid driving to prevent being swept away by floodwaters.

Aventura police reported towing over 300 vehicles from roadways and rescuing elderly individuals from trapped vehicles on Wednesday.

Hallandale Beach received 19 inches of water in five hours, according to Michael Kane, a spokesman for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue. Emergency services responded to 175 flood-related calls, mostly involving stranded cars rather than people. About 35 people were rescued on Wednesday.

Kane mentioned that high-water rescue vehicles and boats were deployed, rescuing multiple families. Many homes were not flooded but had high water, requiring the rescue of elderly or impaired individuals by boat. No flood-related injuries were reported.

Fort Lauderdale recorded 9.54 inches of rain in 24 hours, marking its wettest June day on record and the third-wettest calendar day on record.

Overall, at least six weather stations from Miami to Fort Lauderdale recorded over 10 inches of rain, with Hialeah receiving the most at 13.96 inches, and the Hollywood/Hallandale Beach area recording 12.67 inches. Most of the 10- to 12-inch rain totals occurred within five to six hours on Wednesday.

Combined with Tuesday’s rain, some locations in South Florida have received over 20 inches of rain in just two days.

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