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Days of Rain Flood South Florida, Prompting Closures

Days of persistent rain have created a flood crisis in South Florida.

On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade, and Sarasota counties.

This followed emergency declarations from Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, and the cities of Dania Beach and Sunny Isles Beach. In Dania Beach, police and fire crews conducted at least 40 rescues.

Closures Across Broward County

All Broward County public schools are closed for summer sessions on Thursday. Additionally, county courts, U.S. district courts, and Dania Beach’s city hall are shut down, although the Clerk’s Office remains open for election-related business. In contrast, Broward College is open, and classes are being held as usual.

The city of Miami has suspended all services at the Miami River Center, City Hall, parks, summer camps, and solid waste collection for Thursday. However, Miami-Dade public schools will continue their summer session.

Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay campus and Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center are closed due to flooding.

Transportation Disruptions

Tri-Rail service between Metrorail Transfer and MiamiCentral stations remains suspended Thursday morning due to flooding. Passengers are advised to use the Metrorail system instead.

Brightline service between Miami and Fort Lauderdale has also been suspended. Northbound trains from Miami and Aventura are halted, with Fort Lauderdale being the final destination for southbound trains.

In anticipation of more rain, Miami Beach has arranged for free towing of stalled cars. Early Thursday morning, crews in northeastern Miami-Dade rescued drivers whose vehicles were stuck in floodwaters.

Miami residents can pick up sandbags starting at 10 a.m. at Douglas Park, limited to five per resident with proof of residency. Sandbags will also be available at 11 a.m. at North Miami’s public works facility and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Opa-locka’s public works department.

Rainfall Totals and Flooding Areas

Several South Florida cities have been inundated with rain over the last two days. North Miami has received more than 20 inches, Hallandale Beach and Hollywood over 19 inches, Davie nearly 18 inches, Dania Beach 10 inches, and Plantation almost nine inches. Fort Lauderdale experienced its wettest June day on record, though not its wettest day, which occurred last April with nearly two feet of rain.

In Northeast Miami-Dade, a resident described wading through waist-deep water to reach his home. “It’s right where the entrance to my apartment is. The water was up to here,” he said, motioning to his hips. “I’m not kidding you. And there are a couple of cars stranded by the entrance.”

In Hollywood, more than a dozen cars stalled out in knee-deep flood water on N 14th Avenue off Sheridan Street, where a pump was unable to keep up with the rain.

Flood Watch and Weather Forecast

Miami-Dade and Broward counties remain under a flood watch through Friday at 8 p.m. A

reas expected to experience flooding include Miami, Hialeah, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Pompano Beach, Davie, Miami Beach, Plantation, Sunrise, Tamarac, Margate, Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, South Miami, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Surfside, Miami Gardens, and Hallandale Beach, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters predict that the wet, stormy weather pattern will persist through the end of the work week. Tropical moisture is expected to dissipate slightly by the weekend, leaving the region drier but still with a chance for isolated storms.

With information from CBS News

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