A deluge of intense rain in parts of Florida has submerged neighborhoods, turned roads into rivers, closed schools and has left over 108,000 without power.
Heavy rain fell over central and Southern Florida Wednesday into early Thursday morning due to a slow-moving storm system over the Gulf of Mexico.
Seven million people were under flood watches Wednesday, meanwhile strong onshore winds created gusts that reached 74 mph at an elevated weather station near Miami and 63 mph at Dania Pier near Fort Lauderdale.
Miami-Dade County recorded 9.35 inches of rainfall in Cache, 7.58 inches in Coral Gables, and 4.90 in Miami. Meanwhile, Broward County recorded 8.30 inches in Plantation and parts of Fort Lauderdale picked up anywhere from 2.48 to 5.85 inches.
Radar estimates between Key Largo and the southern Everglades recorded a whopping 15 to 20 inches of rain.
Videos and photos of the downpour show cars driving on partially submerged highways, streets turned into streams of floodwater, and fierce winds whipping palms.
Broward County Public Schools will be closed Thursday due to the “inclement weather.” In Miami-Dade County the Metromover transit was out of service Thursday, replaced with a free bus shuttle and all other modes of public transport were experiencing delays due to major flooding.
The city of Fort Lauderdale said in a 7:30 a.m. update that overnight the city experienced four to eight inches of heavy rainfall and there are reports of power outage, mooring issues, road flooding and wind damage across the area.
“The groundwater table is near saturation, which means additional rain may not be able to drain,” the city said in a release. At the same time, Fort Lauderdale is expecting “the highest tide of the year this morning” which “could exacerbate the current conditions.”
An additional two to four inches is expected this afternoon paired with possibly wind gusts up to 40 mph. A flood watch is in effect through 12 p.m. today, the city said. Drivers are urged to remain off roadways as many tragic lights are down and roads are flooded or have debris.
As of 8:30 a.m. ET, over 108,000 customers were out of power across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, according to PowerOutage.Us.
A high wind warning is in effect Thursday morning through 1 p.m. for wind gusts up to 60 mph along coastal Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County. A storm warning is also in effect for the Atlantic waters through 1 p.m. for gusts of 50 to 60 knots over the waters.
The heavy rainfall this week already brought Fort Lauderdale’s annual rainfall total to over 100 inches by Wednesday — more than 40 inches above average. This marks only the second time in 111 years of record-keeping that their annual rainfall has eclipsed the 100-inch mark. Fort Lauderdale is already having its wettest year on record.
As of Thursday morning the storm system is pulling away from the Sunshine State, with most of the rain off the southeast coast, but gusty winds remain.
The system is now moving parallel to the Florida coast, but some tropical downpours may still be possible across central and northern Florida.
The storm will graze the coastal Carolinas Friday, producing some spotty tropical downpours and breezy conditions. By Saturday, it’ll clip the New England Coast including Cape Cod, but widespread significant rainfall totals are not expected.