Florida cleans up, closes airport after cars run aground in devastating floods

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — South Florida received nearly a foot (30 centimeters) of rain in a few hours, causing widespread flooding, shutting down the Fort Lauderdale airport, and rain on Thursday, a day after it was turned around. I was paying attention to the forecast that it would rain. passageway to the river.

Fort Lauderdale has declared a state of emergency as flooding continues in parts of the city. Emergency services responded to calls for help throughout the night, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths.

Stranded cars littered streets around eastern Broward County as rain began Monday, with the heaviest downpours Wednesday afternoon and evening. The crew worked to clear drains and run pumps to clear standing water. People were told to stay off the road until the water ran out.

The Red Cross arrived at 5 a.m. Thursday to set up a preparation area to help residents whose homes were flooded, providing them with blankets and coffee.The staging area also served as a family reunion point.

The Fort Lauderdale City Hall remained closed on Thursday after the ground floor was flooded and a power outage occurred.

Thursday morning, the forecast from the National Weather Service was for more showers, thunderstorms and localized flooding. An additional 2 to 4 inches of rain was possible on top of the 14 inches we’ve had in the last few days.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport remained closed until at least noon Thursday, canceling many flights and stranded some passengers. The roads around the airport were flooded and congested with traffic jams.

By early Thursday morning, enough water had been drained for people to drive up the upper road or departure road to pick up waiting passengers. But the entrance to the lower floors, or the arrival road, remained closed, officials tweeted.

A video captured by an eyewitness showed water entering the doors of the airport terminal and a virtual river running down the runway between the planes.

In downtown Fort Lauderdale, video footage showed a man swimming toward a curb along Broward Boulevard as cars passed by on Wednesday afternoon. Drivers also documented brown swirling water rolling down the street rising close to the hood of the car.

Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy told CNN it was the worst flooding he had ever experienced.

“The ground is already saturated and we are experiencing massive flooding across our city and across South Florida. Many roads are impassable. Many vehicles are stranded and left in the middle of the road. It’s been left alone,” Levy said. “I have lived here all my life. This is the most severe flood I have ever seen.”

Broward County schools canceled classes on Thursday, including after-school and extracurricular activities.

Toni Barnes, director of emergency management at Broward Schools, told WPLG-TV: “Water ran into hallways and classrooms. … Parents were unable to access the school, and parents tried to pick up students. Staff who tried to leave the campus were unable to. I was trapped.” My parents were trapped and I had to call the fire brigade to get them out of the car and take them to school. ”

Heavy rains also shut down South Florida’s high-speed commuter rail service called Brightline. On Wednesday evening, he tweeted that train service between Miami and Fort Lauderdale had been suspended.

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/state/florida-cleans-up-after-deluge-strands-cars-closes-airport Florida cleans up, closes airport after cars run aground in devastating floods

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