Weather

Flood watch extended for Broward as rain refuses to let up in South Florida

Demetrius Lewis looks over his flooded out tent at the homeless encampment where he lives in front of the Broward County Main Library in Fort Lauderdale.
Demetrius Lewis looks over his flooded out tent at the homeless encampment where he lives in front of the Broward County Main Library in Fort Lauderdale. Sun-Sentinel

Unceasing rain on Sunday — especially in parts of Broward where more than a foot of rain fell — flooded roads, stalled cars and even cut off power across South Florida.

And it's not over yet.

"I know everyone is tired of dealing with the rain, but its going to stick around a little longer," said Barry Baxter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The deluge sparked flood watches Sunday as streets in flood-prone areas including Hollywood and Lauderhill were overtaken by water. Baxter said he wouldn't be surprised if more watches are issued. Late Sunday, the National Weather Service extended the flood watch for Broward County through Noon Monday.

"The ground is already saturated, so it wont take much to have flooding problems again," he said.

In a 24-hour period — from 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday — just over 14 inches of rain fell near Coconut Creek, about 11 inches fell in Lauderhill and 11 inches fell in Fort Lauderdale. The numbers were significantly lower in Miami-Dade with just under two inches in Miami Miami Beach and a little over two inches at Miami International Airport.

In Hollywood, floodwater pooled on both sides of Interstate 95 along Sheridan street, slowing cars in the area. Several cars stalled out along Stirling Road and I-95. Standing water up to two feet has been reported in Hollywood and Dania Beach, according to the weather service.

Hallandale Beach Fire Rescue had crews working on pumps to reduce the flooding.

According to FPL's Power Tracker, at 1:33 p.m. 481 Broward customers, 409 Miami-Dade customers and 94 Palm Beach customers were without power. Later in the day, Broward was down to 435, Miami-Dade was down to 102 and Palm Beach was up to 134.

Sunday's bad weather also interrupted air travel at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport with more than 80 delays because of the rain. Travelers were also told to avoid Perimeter Road because of flooding.

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For those who live in a makeshift tent city in downtown Fort Lauderdale, the relentless rain has made life even more difficult, the Sun Sentinel reported.

“I’ll make the best of it,” John Williams, who was trying to keep his stuff dry, told the paper.

All this rain — and the rain that is expected to fall this week — is all thanks to a low pressure trough in the Gulf of Mexico. Baxter said there may be a little break Tuesday but it won't last long.

"Our weather will continue to be unsettled," he said.

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