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State of Emergency Declared in South Florida as Rains Lead to Flooding

South Florida is struggling with severe flooding over the past two days, leading Governor Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency for several counties.

State of Emergency Declared in South Florida as Rains Lead to Flooding

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A tropical disturbance struck South Florida, bringing an unusual flash flood emergency to the area. The storm system originating from the Gulf of Mexico, dumped over 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain in some areas since Tuesday.

Flights at major airports including Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport were affected.

Around half the flights at Fort Lauderdale were canceled or postponed leading to long lines and frustrated travelers.

Airports were temporarily closed to manage the floodwaters, stranding thousands of passengers. Ground transportation was equally disrupted with major roads flooded and many vehicles left stranded.

Tow truck operators like Ted Rico from One Master Trucking Corp. were overwhelmed by the number of stalled vehicles.

Rico described scenes of abandoned cars scattered across streets, sidewalks and medians, with many vehicles submerged or stranded.

Travelers like Bill Carlisle, a Navy petty officer faced challenges trying to navigate through the flood-impacted airports.

Carlisle described scenes at the airports, with passengers scrambling to rebook flights amid cancellations and delays.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency. Local officials in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Miami-Dade County followed suit, initiating emergency measures to manage the crisis.

Communities across the affected areas came together to help each other with sandbags and other flood-prevention measures deployed.

The National Weather Service issued warnings of continued rainfall with some areas expected to receive an additional 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain.

Businesses were forced to close or adjust operations due to the flooding and transportation disruptions. Residents and tourists alike had to navigate waterlogged streets and disrupted services.

Public services including transportation and emergency response were stretched thin in managing the impact of the flooding.

Long-time residents and experts said that the severity of this flooding surpassed many previous events, even those associated with hurricanes. The rainfall totals broke several records.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an unusually active hurricane season, with up to 25 named storms expected.

Authorities advised residents to stay off the roads and avoid flooded areas to ensure safety. Public announcements and alerts were issued to keep the people informed and prepared for additional impacts.

Airlines like American Airlines had to cancel a huge number of flights, contributing to the broader travel disruptions. Passengers faced long delays and challenges in rebooking flights or finding alternative transportation.

Also Read: Germany Floods: At Least 4 Dead and Thousands Evacuated

South Florida has been inundated with torrential rain, receiving more than 380mm (15 inches) over a span of just two days. North Miami reported the highest rainfall with more than 500mm falling due to frequent and heavy thunderstorms.

Flooding has affected numerous cities including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood. Streets have been transformed into canals, with floodwaters infiltrating homes and disrupting daily life.

Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade, and Sarasota counties. Local mayors in Miami-Dade, Miami and Fort Lauderdale have also declared states of emergency to facilitate disaster response.

Numerous public schools, courts, and city halls, such as Dania Beach’s, have been closed. Rail services across Miami and surrounding areas have been suspended.

Emergency services have conducted at least 40 rescues in the affected areas including evacuations from flooded homes and cars.

In some areas, such as Hallandale Beach, emergency responders used boats to rescue individuals stranded on top of vehicles due to high water levels.

Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport have experienced delays and cancellations, with over 1,200 flights affected.

Flash flood warnings remain in effect for nearly 1.7 million residents in South Florida. The National Weather Service has warned of continued heavy rainfall, predicting an additional 4 to 8 inches of rain, with some areas receiving nearly a foot.

The heavy rainfall is expected to continue with the risk of flash flooding remaining high due to the saturated ground.

Even typical June rainfall could exacerbate the current flooding situation, preventing water from receding and leading to property damage and disruptions.

The Spanish island of Mallorca faced severe flooding after a freak storm brought more than 50mm of rain in three hours. The storm caused disruption including the temporary closure of Palma airport and stranding thousands of travelers.

New Zealand’s North Island experienced unseasonably warm temperatures, recording its highest ever June temperature of 25.7°C (78.2°F) in Hastings.

This unusual weather was attributed to a warm air mass from the Coral Sea, combined with a north-westerly airflow that resulted in the foehn effect.

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