The downpour, striking central and southern regions from Wednesday into early Thursday, resulted from a slow-moving storm system hovering over the Gulf of Mexico.
Heavy rain in Florida wreaked havoc, inundating neighborhoods, transforming roads into waterways, and disrupting daily life for many
An estimated 7 million people were under flood watches during this period. Alongside the heavy rain in Florida, forceful onshore winds hit speeds of up to 74 mph near Miami and 63 mph at Dania Pier near Fort Lauderdale. Heavy rain in Florida measurements soared: Miami-Dade County recorded 9.35 inches in Cache, 7.58 inches in Coral Gables, and 4.90 inches in Miami, while Broward County logged 8.30 inches in Plantation and varying amounts in Fort Lauderdale.
Radar readings between Key Largo and the southern Everglades indicated a staggering 15 to 20 inches of rainfall. Videos and images captured the chaos, depicting partially submerged highways, streets morphed into floodwater streams, and palm trees swaying fiercely in the winds. The impact was profound: Broward County Public Schools closed, the Metromover transit system in Miami-Dade ceased operations, and widespread transportation delays ensued due to severe flooding.
Fort Lauderdale faced its share of woes, reporting heavy rain in Florida overnight, power outages, road flooding, and wind damage
The city cautioned that further heavy rain in Florida might exacerbate the already saturated groundwater. As a precaution, they anticipated the highest tide of the year, foreseeing worsening conditions. Another 2 to 4 inches of rain, coupled with potential 40 mph wind gusts, were expected, prolonging the flood watch till noon Thursday.
Additionally, over 108,000 customers across Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties suffered power outages. Coastal regions endured high wind warnings and storm alerts. The excessive rain this week pushed Fort Lauderdale’s annual rainfall to over 100 inches by midweek, marking a record-breaking year.
As the storm system began to move away from Florida on Thursday morning, residual windy conditions persisted. The system’s path now skirted parallel to Florida’s coastline, hinting at possible tropical downpours in central and northern regions. By Friday, the storm was anticipated to brush the coastal Carolinas before heading toward New England on Saturday, although widespread heavy rain in Florida was not predicted.