South Florida Faces Life-Threatening Floods as Torrential Rains Persist

South Florida is grappling with severe flooding following torrential rains, affecting areas from the Gulf Coast to Miami. With up to 25 inches of rainfall, emergency declarations have been issued. Florida's Governor and local mayors are urging residents to avoid flooded areas and have mobilized resources for rescue operations.


Reuters | Updated: 13-06-2024 19:56 IST | Created: 13-06-2024 19:56 IST
South Florida Faces Life-Threatening Floods as Torrential Rains Persist
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More torrential downpours fell over South Florida on Thursday after at least a foot of rain deluged an area spanning the Gulf Coast into Miami this week, leading the National Weather Service to issue flood watches or warnings for 8 million people.

Some areas, including portions of Broward and Miami-Dade counties, are seeing "life-threatening flooding," the weather service said. A few spots have reported up to 18-to-25 inches of rain since Monday, said Bob Oravec, a forecaster with the NWS's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

The slow-moving storm - a disorganized tropical depression drawing its strength from warm Gulf Coast and Atlantic waters - is expected to linger over the state until early Saturday before pushing out to sea, Oravec said. Even though the system is not expected to turn into a tropical storm, it could be a wet prelude to what is expected to be a busy hurricane season, which began June 1.

With another 5 inches of rain possible before Friday night, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for five South Florida Counties late on Wednesday. Media reports and social media posts showed cars stalled and people wading in hip-deep waters flooding streets. Parts of Interstate 95, a main north-south route along the East Coast, were closed due to flooding on Wednesday.

"The problem is that there is no place for the rain to go," said Oravec. "The ground is so saturated. In some places water is rising up from the sewers." Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis declared a city-wide emergency due to flooding. He said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission was sending boats and high-water vehicles to assist any rescues if needed.

Trantalis urged people to stay off roadways. "It's crucial to never attempt to drive through high water," he warned in a message on the X social media platform. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also declared states of emergency, freeing up money and resources to better cope with the storm and its aftermath.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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