Heavy rains flooded highways in Florida and halted flights at the Fort Lauderdale airport Wednesday night as storms dumped more than a foot of rain, forecasters and officials said.

A flash flood emergency has been issued for areas near Hollywood, Dania Beach and Fort Lauderdale, the National Weather Service said Wednesday night.

Radar estimates showed 11 to 12 inches and up to 17 inches closer to shore, and rain was still falling at around 4 inches per hour, said Chuck Caracozza, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Miami.

“It is extremely dangerous here in the Fort Lauderdale area,” Caracozza said. «People should avoid the roads and stay off the roads.»

A motorcyclist passes a stopped car on a flooded highway Wednesday in Dania Beach, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said it was closed to flights and warned drivers to stay away or stay at the airport because the entry and exit lanes were flooded.

Video issued by nbc miami It showed flooding in an airport parking lot and cars driving through flooded streets in Dania Beach, a city south of Fort Lauderdale.

“We ask that you stay off the roads until some of this water dissipates,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief Stephen Gollan told residents in a video the city manager shared Wednesday. Cars get stuck, he said.

Passenger rail service between Miami and Fort Lauderdale has been suspended, carrier Brightline said.

The flash flood emergency in Fort Lauderdale and other parts of Broward County was in effect until 11 p.m. Rain should taper off later in the evening and overnight, Caracozza said.

the weather service had predicted heavy rain in parts of Florida Wednesday due to a rising warm front. Rain and wind are expected to move toward the central Gulf Coast on Thursday.