The Fort Lauderdale airport remained closed for a second day Thursday after 25 inches of rain fell on the South Florida city, flooding roads, inundating cars and stranding travelers, authorities said.
“The amount of rain is unprecedented,” Mayor Dean Trantalis said Thursday.
And it wasn’t over. Another round of rain on Thursday inundated roads that had been passable, the city government said, and residents were urged to stay off the roads.
An additional of 2 to 3 inches of rain it fell on Thursday, the National Weather Service said.
There have been 900 calls for service to the city’s fire department, including rescues, Trantalis said earlier in the day, but no deaths have been reported. About 600 people were taken to shelters, the city said.
Drone video issued by nbc miami it showed abandoned cars dumped downtown, even when the waters had receded.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, which halted flight operations Wednesday after exits, entrances and runways flooded, will remain closed until 9 a.m. Friday to restore runway operations and conduct inspections. the airport said.
Parts of the city of 180,000 saw 25.91 inches of rain as of 9 a.m. Thursday, while nearby Dania Beach received more than 17 inches and Hollywood received just over 18 inches, according to the National Weather Servicealthough the reports were preliminary.
Sleeping at the airport was the hardest part for Jessica Pfau of Baltimore, who spent the night stranded with her four children, her husband and the children’s grandfather.
“I think we slept maybe four hours and it was really cold,” he said. They were trying to get a rental car on Thursday.
Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Thursday for Broward County, where Fort Lauderdale is located, and the county government also declared a local emergency.
Broward County Public Schools canceled classes Thursday and said schools would also be closed Friday. Staff was repairing the facility Thursday, but some areas were not accessible, the district said.
“So far, we have been able to preliminarily assess $2 million in damage to our schools,” Valerie Wanza, the school district’s interim chief of staff, said at a briefing. “A lot of this is due to flooding.”
The heavy rain was caused by a slow-moving frontal system, combined with a low-pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico, the weather service said thursday. That led to extended periods of very heavy rain, with the heaviest in Broward County, she said.
There were also two tornadoes in Broward County on Wednesday. Both were short-lived and were rated at EF0, or the lowest on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, according to the weather service.
One occurred around 3:30 p.m. and caused minimal damage, possibly only at treetop level, and the second occurred around 9:40 p.m., just south of the Fort Lauderdale airport. the agency said.