Heavy rainfall has caused severe flooding in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida. With more rain in the forecast for early this week, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties which will remain in effect until Tuesday.
Affected residents are being warned to stay inside and to avoid walking and driving in flood waters. Health officials in Miami are telling affected residents not to eat or drink anything which as been touched by flood waters as it will be contaminated. Several schools have been closed in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties due to flooding and are expected to re-open sometime this week. Over fifty apartments in one Fort Lauderdale complex were flooded late Sunday as were the complex’s underground parking garages. Several other apartment complexes in Fort Lauderdale were also affected by flooding as was a local food bank. The public has been asked to volunteer to help those affected mop and clean up.
The cause of the flooding in South Florida was a stalled frontal system which dumped twelve inches of rain in some areas. Even though much of the region of Florida has adequate drainage via many canals, the drains simply backed up under the strain of heavy rain. Fort Lauderdale Beach received the worst of the rain as 12.5 inches fell there. Coconut Grove received 11 inches followed by Palmetto Bay with 8.8 inches.
Thousands of residents and businesses were affected by the Florida flooding which will result in many of them having to deal with the damage over the next few days if not weeks. Insurance companies in the affected region reported Monday that many flood claims have been filed with the majority of them for roof and vehicle engine damage. Nearly 3,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost their power early Monday although most should see it restored by Tuesday.
The flood damage was so extensive in parts of Fort Lauderdale that several restoration companies were hard at work already Monday cleaning up apartments, homes and businesses which had several inches of dirty standing water inside. Rainy weather and gusting winds are expected to remain over South Florida until mid-week. A low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico is also bring in some added rain. That system has a 60% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone. Residents living in low-lying areas in South Florida are being told to have plans in place to address flooding which may occur.