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Flooding Recedes Across South Florida as Rainfall Eases

Broward County Sheriff's Office Facebook page
Broward County Sheriff's Office Facebook page

South Florida - Friday June 14, 2024: Although more rain over the weekend could trigger additional isolated flooding across South Florida, forecasters say that the worst is over.

“The worst flooding risk was the last three days,” said Sammy Hadi, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami. “The heaviest rainfall has concluded.”

Over the past week, days of strong persistent storms dumped up to 20 inches of rain throughout the southern part of the state, mostly over areas south of the Treasure Coast.

Governor DeSantis Thursday yesterday declared a state of emergency in Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade, and Sarasota counties because of the flooding. On Friday, some neighborhood streets in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas still had standing water covering them, although it has been rapidly receding.

The Governor was in Hollywood Friday morning to survey the damage and monitor the recovery efforts. He said the state has deployed about 100 pumps in addition to what cities and counties are using to try to clear water from streets.

Florida Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said while flooding was extensive, there were no reports of destroyed homes and very few of severely damaged homes. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported.

“We don’t think there’s going to be enough damage to necessarily qualify for a federal disaster declaration,” DeSantis said. But he added the storms may have affected enough business to qualify for Small Business Administration assistance.

The downpours hit Tuesday and continued into Wednesday, delaying flights at two of the state’s largest airports and leaving vehicles waterlogged and stalled in some of the region’s lowest-lying streets. The main problem was hundreds of vehicles that were stranded on streets as people were unable to navigate the flood waters.

“Looked like the beginning of a zombie movie,” said Ted Rico, a tow truck driver who spent much of Wednesday night and Thursday morning helping to clear the streets of stalled vehicles. “There’s cars littered everywhere, on top of sidewalks, in the median, in the middle of the street, no lights on. Just craziness, you know. Abandoned cars everywhere.”

Rico, of One Master Trucking Corp., was born and raised in Miami and said he was ready for the emergency.

“You know when its coming,” he said. “Every year it’s just getting worse, and for some reason people just keep going through the puddles.”

In Aventura, north of Miami, Juan Gomez, a 27-year resident of South Florida, has never seen flooding as severe as the recent storm that hit his rental unit. He said Friday he is preparing for future storms, having experienced firsthand the devastating effects of flooding on his property Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We were taking water from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. that night. And we did as much as we could. Yeah, but still some furniture got damaged. Some of the kitchen cabinets and the bathroom cabinets got damaged because of the water and the material in the floors, definitely, they need to be changed," Gomez said.

“So it is hard and we have to be prepared," he added. "We are going to be more prepared. In fact, we are trying to get some supplies if something comes in the few next weeks. So, like sandbags, more supplies to be prepared.”

The storm system that caused it all pushed across Florida from the Gulf of Mexico at roughly the same time as the early June start of hurricane season, which this year is forecast to be among the most active in recent memory amid concerns that climate change is increasing storm intensity.

READ the Governor's News Release in Full below:

Updates on the State Response to Invest 90L – South Florida Flash Flooding

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.—Today, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Florida Division of Emergency Management Executive Director Kevin Guthrie and Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue in Broward County to provide updates on the ongoing response efforts to dangerous flooding as a result of Invest 90L in South Florida. 

“Today I visited affected communities in Broward County to continue to direct Florida’s response to flooding from Invest 90L," said Governor Ron DeSantis. "We have so far pumped out over 12 million gallons of water from flooded areas, with more help on the way. Florida surged resources before, during, and after the storm to ensure our residents were able to prepare and quickly get back on their feet."

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is activated to Level 1 for response efforts with the State Emergency Response Team (SERT).

Eighteen to 20 inches of rainfall has been recorded in parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Flood Watches remain in effect across South Florida, the Keys, and portions of West-Central Florida as multiple rounds of heavy rainfall will lead to instances of flash flooding, especially for urban and low-lying/poor drainage areas.

 Florida Division of Emergency Management (Division):

  • Division Executive Director Kevin Guthrie has deployed to South Florida to coordinate state resource management and identify unmet needs in impacted communities.
  • 90 pumps have been moved into position in support of flood fighting operations; 20 are currently operating and 70 are at the two staging areas to support as needed.
  • 11,200 linear feet of flood protection systems have been staged.
  • Regional Coordinators in impacted areas remain in constant communication with county emergency management directors to report impacts to the State Watch Office.

Other State Efforts

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)

  • FDOT has deployed over 200 personnel and nearly 100 pieces of equipment for storm response.
  • In preparation for the storm, FDOT crews swept roadways, cleared drainage openings, and staged equipment for response.
  • FDOT crews mobilized pumps to clear flooding on impacted lanes of I-95, Pembroke Road, US1, and SR A1A. Within hours, these facilities were cleared and are fully operational.
  • Pumps were also deployed to address minor flooding within the Kinney Tunnel, which is now clear and fully operational.
  • FDOT continues to be in communication with local agencies and provide necessary resource support as needed.
  • FDOT team members are monitoring all roadways and working with Florida Highway Patrol to determine any necessary road closures.

Current Road Conditions in Lee County

  • San Carlos Blvd South at Buttonwood Drive- Right Lane Blocked
  • San Carlos Blvd North, before Hurricane Pass Bridge-Right Lane Blocked
  • McGregor at Town and River-1 lane, both directions

Seaports
All seaports have resumed normal operations.

Airports: The following airports are OPEN:

  • Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International- Multiple taxiway closures for flooding. Multiple (50+) commercial flight delays and cancellations. Inbound flights to FLL are delayed an average of 228 mins.
  • Key West International- Few (5+) commercial flight delays and cancellations reported.
  • Miami International-Multiple (50+) commercial flight delays and cancellations. Inbound flights to MIA are delayed an average of 364 mins.
  • Orlando International- Departures from the airport are delayed an average of 75 mins.
  • Palm Beach International- Airport open and operational, multiple (20+) commercial flight delays and cancellations reported.
  • Sarasota/Bradenton International-Normal operations.
  • Southwest Florida International- Multiple (30+) commercial flight delays and cancellations reported.

Rail

  • Brightline – Normal operations
  • CSX – Service has been impacted due to flooding on the downtown spur and Hialeah rail yard.

Transit

  • The following agencies are IMPACTED:
  • Breeze Sarasota TD trips are limited to medically necessary trips only.
  • Miami-Dade Transit is detouring two routes.
  • Community shuttles in Hallandale Beach and Dania Beach, Davie and Lauderdale Lakes are suspended.
  • Broward County Transit is detouring one route.
  • LauderGo Micromover service is suspended.

Safety Messaging 

  • FDOT reminds motorists to always check FL511 for real-time travel information, including road and bridge closures.
  • Drivers should actively monitor their surroundings, especially during nighttime hours. Remember, motorists should treat intersections with non-working traffic signals as STOP signs in all directions then proceed with caution.

Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) 

  • The Florida Highway Patrol is actively working with and coordinating response efforts with law enforcement and the Florida Department of Transportation in response to this flooding event.  
  • FHP is engaged with all Florida counties that have requested assistance to support local flooding response efforts.
  • FHP is actively patrolling affected areas impacted by flooding.
  • FHP has removed abandoned vehicles along Interstate 95.
  • FHP has staffed several road closures in affected areas.
  • FHP's deployed fixed-wing aircraft and unmanned aerial units are supporting and coordinating with FDOT to support recovery efforts while assessing roadway and traffic conditions within the impacted areas.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol reminds motorists to use extreme caution. Motorists can report disabled vehicles or dangerous driving conditions to *FHP (*347). 

FloridaCommerce

  • FloridaCommerce and the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey in response to the flooding in South Florida. Survey responses will allow the state to expedite flooding recovery efforts by gathering data and assessing the needs of affected businesses in any county located south of I-4. Businesses can complete the survey online by visiting www.FloridaDisaster.biz and selecting “South Florida Flooding” from the drop down menu. 
  • FloridaCommerce has activated the private sector hotline at 850-815-4925 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Inquiries may also be emailed to ESF18@em.myflorida.com.
  • Updates on closures and business resources are consistently being updated at FloridaDisaster.biz/CurrentDisasterUpdates.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)
FDLE’s emergency preparedness unit is activated at the State Emergency Operations Center and agents and analysts are ready to respond to the needs of law enforcement and communities impacted by Invest 90-L.

The Office of Financial Regulation (OFR)
The OFR issued a proclamation to financial institutions and securities professionals regarding Invest 90L – South Florida Flash Flooding.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) 

  • The FWC has readied law enforcement officers throughout the region to assist with emergency response equipment and capabilities if needed and are coordinating with state and local emergency management. Currently, they have 37 personnel on standby. 
  • FWC is staged at the Ft. Lauderdale Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Assets include multiple FWC personnel and three high water capable swamp buggies, three airboats, and one shallow draft outboard aluminum boat.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection 

  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has activated and is closely monitoring WaterTracker, a reporting tool for drinking water and wastewater facilities to provide updates on their operational status and submit needs and requests.
  • DEP has also directly reached out to these facilities in the impacted areas and 100% of drinking water and wastewater facilities have been initially contacted. All wastewater facilities are fully operational at this time and all but one drinking water system is fully operational.
  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is coordinating with Florida’s Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (FlaWARN) and other response agencies on the dispatch of generators, fuel and pump trucks that may be needed to assist drinking water and wastewater facilities in the impacted areas.
  • The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is engaging local governments in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to support flood control efforts throughout the regional canal system. SFWMD is available to provide technical and other support to local governments and drainage operators, including deploying temporary pumps to alleviate localized flooding. The regional canal system is fully operational with no issues at this time.
  • Currently, no Florida State Parks are closed. 

Florida Department of Education
For the latest information from the Florida Department of Education regarding closures and re-openings of early learning providers, school districts and colleges, please visit fldoe.org/storminfo.

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation

  • The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is actively performing damage assessment sweeps to look for structural damages caused by the South Florida Flash Flooding and to combat unlicensed activity. Residents can report instances of unlicensed contracting to the DBPR hotline toll-free at +1 (866) 532-1440.
  • DBPR's Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco and Division of Hotels and Restaurants will deploy to impacted areas as they become accessible to conduct damage assessments of licensed establishments.
  • DBPR encourages Florida’s licensed contractors who are looking to help property owners in need of post-storm construction-related services to register with its Florida Disaster Contractors Network at DCNOnline.org. Once homeowners are safely able to assess their home repair needs, DBPR encourages them to log ontoDCNOnline.organd search by county for a list of Florida-licensed contractors providing these services in their community.

Agency for Health Care Administration

  • The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has activated the Emergency Patient Look-Up System (E-PLUS). All users in affected counties were notified via email of system activation.
  • AHCA has opened an event in the Health Facility Reporting System for the following counties: Hillsborough, Polk, Osceola, Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte, Glades, Lee, Hendry, Collier, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
  • ACHA conducted outreach to healthcare facilities in the impacted areas.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

  • The department is coordinating with Florida’s ports and fuel industry partners to ensure adequate fuel supplies are available across Florida.
  • Fuel inspectors are responding to impacted areas to ensure retail fuel dispensers are working properly and testing the quality of fuel.
  • Food safety inspectors are responding to impacted areas to conduct damage assessments and ensure the safe operation of permitted food establishments.
  • The department is coordinating with agricultural partners to ensure those impacted have adequate resources and support. 

Florida State Guard

  • To support South Florida communities impacted by Invest 90L, the Florida State Guard is actively coordinating with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to prepare and deploy the following personnel and resources:

    • 14 personnel deployed from the Maritime Response Battalion to support the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission on assets to increase accessibility and render assistance to communities as needed.
    • 20 personnel from the Maritime Response Squadron and Crisis Response Battalion to include licensed U.S. Coast Guard Boat Captains and support crews to operate four shallow water vessels and two amphibious rescue vehicles to render humanitarian aid as needed.
    • 6 multipurpose vehicles to transport resources and supplies to the affected area.
    • 25 personnel on standby to assist in additional responses and recovery operations as needed.
  • The Florida State Guard has 14 members assisting FWC in Broward County and 20 members mobilizing to man four boat teams and two FAT Trucks. Members will prepare trucks and boats and stand by for missions in South Florida.

Department of Elder Affairs

The Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) has been in communication with all the Area Agencies on Aging partners to address unmet needs, as necessary. For updates, visit ElderAffairs.org.

Florida Veterans Association
Florida Veterans seeking benefits assistance may call a State Veterans’ Service Officer at (727) 319-7440 or send an email to FDVA.VSO@FDVA.FL.GOV.

Department of Health (DOH)
-All DOH county health offices remain open and operational.
-Broward and Miami-Dade county health offices have provided flood safety information to their communities.
-There are currently zero boil water notices (BWN) in effect. To check for BWNs, please visit: https://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/drinking-water/boil-water-notices/index.html

Volunteer Resources -The following volunteer services are available for contact for those affected:

  • Legal services

    Supporting families; preserving the home; maintaining economic stability; safety, stability and health; and serving populations with special vulnerabilities. Call: 833-514-2940 

  • American Red Cross

    Ensuring those impacted are provided safe shelter, food, emotional support, health services, and critical relief items. Once emergent needs are met the Red Cross works one-on-one with clients to help them plan their recovery. Call: 1-800-733-2767

Department of Children and Families

  • The American Red Cross will be opening a shelter at Church of the Living God, 13700 NE 10th Ave., North Miami, FL 33161. 
  • Through the SERT, partner donations have accumulated approximately 3,900 flood clean-up kits, and 7,700 comfort kits have been collected for distribution, and are now staged at the Division’s logistical staging area.

For updates and recovery information on the flooding impacts due to Invest 90L – South Florida Flash Flooding, visit FloridaDisaster.org/SFLFlood.

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