Miami-Dade County

Cleanup but few closures the day after floodwaters soak Miami

Man kayaks down flooded street with neighborhood kids in Midtown

A man let neighborhood kids ride his kayak down a flooded street in Miami's Midtown on Aug. 1, 2017.
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A man let neighborhood kids ride his kayak down a flooded street in Miami's Midtown on Aug. 1, 2017.

Wednesday morning’s dry conditions made the flood that engulfed Miami Beach Tuesday afternoon feel like a distant memory.

Elevators in the parking garages were out of service, but the lanes were all clear. Pedestrians skirted past puddles instead of wading barefoot through them.

While some stores on the west side of Lincoln road were sandbagged and closed due to water damage, shops and restaurants on the east side were open and full of tourists, many of whom had just arrived and didn’t even realize there was a flood the day prior.

Some Beach residents said they were not surprised by how quick the water receded.

Sidewalk puddles are the only reminders of the flooding that soaked Miami Beach Tuesday. Samantha Gross

“I’d never seen flooding like that in 18 years,” said Frank Bolduc, 66. “It drops fast, though. We’re on an island so it just goes into the ocean. Before the pumps, we would just watch the salt water rise up and up. They make a difference.”

Bolduc, who lives on 10th Street and Lenox Avenue, said he saw cars stalling “right and left.”

“But it doesn’t worry me,” he said. “That’s why I ride a bicycle.”

Heavy afternoon thunderstorms flood areas of Miami Beach Aug. 1, 2017.

Obed Champagne, who works at Solstice Sunglasses on Lincoln Road, said he couldn’t believe what he saw when he left work yesterday.

“People were carrying their shoes, and walking through the puddles,” Champagne, 21, said. “There were bumpers in the water. Like, car bumpers. I didn’t think it would be this clear today.”

On the mainland, the only reminder of the previous day’s flooding in Brickell was a thin layer of dirt on sidewalks and walls.

A Publix spokeswoman said Tuesday’s deluge closed one store, at 911 SW 1st Ave, at 3:30 p.m., but it reopened Wednesday morning as usual.

The Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, 175 NW 1st Ave., can withstand the family court contentiousness that makes non-family law attorneys shudder, but couldn’t stand the weather Tuesday. Flooding from a roof drain caused its Wednesday closure for repairs and will keep it closed Thursday, according to Miami-Dade Director of Internal Services Tara Smith. There’s no certainty of a Friday re-opening.

According to a Wednesday afternoon release, Thursday’s domestic violence bond hearings have been moved to Courtrooms 1 through 5 of the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building, 1351 NW 12 Street. Parties in other hearings will be notified of their rescheduling.

Smith said 40 workers took on the task of getting rid of the water Tuesday and the materials need two days for proper drying. There’s drywall work that’ll take a week, but the courthouse should be back to conducting business by that time.

Updates also can be found at the Eleventh Judicial Circuit’s website or the 24-hour hotline, 305-349-7777.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal