Fort Lauderdale, a city located in Florida, experienced severe flooding on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, due to a rapid downpour of nearly 30 centimeters of rain within a few hours. The heavy rainfall caused the city’s airport to close, and high-speed commuter rail services for the Broward County region were suspended, as reported by the Associated Press.
The airport, which is one of the region’s biggest, suspended all inbound and outbound flights around 4:15 pm, according to its tweet. The ground transportation shuttle service was also shut down at 5 pm due to continuous downpours, and Brightline, South Florida’s high-speed commuter rail service, was also halted due to heavy rain.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas, which was expected to last until the pre-dawn hours of Thursday due to the possibility of thunderstorms. The situation was considered life-threatening, and people were advised to seek higher ground. As per poweroutage.us, over 22,000 Florida customers were without power on Wednesday night.
The city of Fort Lauderdale advised residents and visitors to avoid driving until the water recedes. “Police and Fire Rescue continue to answer calls for service. Public Works staff are clearing drains and operating pumps to mitigate the water as quickly as possible,” the statement said.
While no injuries or deaths have been reported yet, up to 14 inches of rain fell in the area on Wednesday, and another 2 to 4 inches were expected as a warm front moved northward, bringing the risk of more thunderstorms, Associated Press reported. Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy informed CNN that the area had already been experiencing rain for several days, causing extensive flooding throughout the city and South Florida. Many roadways were impassable, with numerous abandoned vehicles. Levy, a lifelong resident, called this the most severe flooding in Florida he has ever witnessed.
In conclusion, the heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding in Fort Lauderdale caused significant disruptions in transportation and life-threatening situations. The local authorities have advised people to stay safe and avoid driving until the water recedes.