In a 1-in-1,000-year rainfall event, Fort Lauderdale experienced its rainiest day on Wednesday. This precipitation event sparked a flash flood emergency in Broward County, which has forced the closure of schools and the airport through Friday morning.
The National Weather Service declared a flash flood emergency for Broward County, Florida, due to the heavy rains that caused some areas of South Florida to receive more than a foot of rain.
The NWS issued a warning early on Thursday: “Numerous roads remain closed, despite the end of the rain.” Don’t disobey any road closure signs, and pay attention to any instructions from local authorities.
The Miami National Weather Service reported that two weak tornadoes also touched down in Broward County on Wednesday, one just west of Hollywood and the other south of the airport in Fort Lauderdale. Both had an EF-0 rating, the lowest possible, and were short and simple.
On Wednesday afternoon and evening, Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area experienced heavy rain due to thunderstorms.
The National Weather Service has extended a flash flood warning into the early hours of the morning for southern Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, and Hollywood.
The flood warning is in effect through Thursday morning in place of the emergency.
According to the service, the warning area received between two and three inches of rain on Thursday afternoon. Particularly south of Fort Lauderdale near Hollywood, another 1 to 3 inches remain a possibility.
A Thursday morning update from the National Weather Service office in Miami stated that since Wednesday afternoon, the greater Fort Lauderdale metro area had received between 14 and 20 inches of rain. One mayor described the flood as the “most severe flooding I’ve ever seen.”
Significant flooding occurred at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and it was anticipated that it would remain closed until at least noon on Thursday. Around three in the morning on Thursday, the airport’s upper-level departures roadway reopened to allow travellers to pick up stuck relatives and friends. The arrivals road on the lower levels is still blocked.
An estimated 14 inches of rain fell on some Broward County areas close to the airport on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, there was reportedly 14 inches of rain in some Broward County locations close to the airport.
In low water crossings, small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets, and underpasses, the NWS warned Wednesday night that “life-threatening flash flooding” was possible.
Drivers were urged to avoid the road by the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department.