The floodgates opened in parts of Miami-Dade County early Monday afternoon, with residents and drivers suddenly finding themselves in the middle of a rushing torrent of rain.
The National Weather Service reported that 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain fell around 1 p.m. in Kendall, South Miami, Pinecrest, Coral Gables and parts of South Miami-Dade. The Weather Service issued a flood advisory from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday.
Drivers drove their cars and cyclists their bikes through lakelike conditions near Dadeland Mall, Galloway Road and the Village of Kings Creek condos, where flooded streets, some as deep as two feet, left many suddenly stranded. Tow trucks had a brisk business in the neighborhood.
“It was pretty flooded, we were trying to get through the street, we had no idea that it was as flooded as it was .… My car stopped. My engine died,’’ said Natalie Alfonso, standing next to her flooded Acura at Kings Creek Drive and Southwest 83rd Court.
Multiple cars were stuck along side streets near Dadeland Mall.
The corner of Southwest 87th Avenue and 132nd Street, just west of South Dixie Highway in the warehouse district near The Falls, had lakes of standing water that made left and right turns sketchy, slowing motorists to a crawl so as to avoid stalling in their cars.
Businesses in the vicinity took a hit from the storms, too.
The popular Lots of Lox deli restaurant at 14995 S. Dixie Hwy. in Palmetto Bay had empty tables in the afternoon that normally would otherwise have been filled.
"There was a line out the doors but once it started pouring it died down," said Kenneth Cabrera, a waiter at Lots of Lox Monday afternoon.
The forecast for Tuesday calls for more rain and thunderstorms.
Miami Herald writers Howard Cohen and Matthew Bunch contributed to this report.