Heavy rain floods roadways, causes hundreds of flight delays in South Florida

Heavy rain floods roadways, causes hundreds of flight delays in South Florida
Video fort lauderdale flooding

Wednesday’s washout in South Florida was leaving streets flooded, causing traffic nightmares and delaying hundreds of flights at local airports.

At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Terminal Drive quickly flooded forcing some drivers to go off the roadway to get past the high water.

Others plowed through before the road was closed.

Inside, travelers were experiencing dozens of delays. By 5 p.m., more than 150 flights were delayed at FLL, along with three flights canceled.

At Miami International Airport, another 136 delays were reported Wednesday.

Parts of Broward County saw flooded roads and streets Wednesday, including Oakland Park and Sunrise. That forced many drivers to turn around to avoid getting stuck in water.

John Ambersley has lived in Oakland Park for 20 years. He said he’s used to the area flooding after heavy rain.

“I’ve been working around here for like 30 years and when it rains on a consistent basis this place gets flooded,” Ambersley said.

Ambersley, like many drivers, was forced to find an alternative route Wednesday.

“I was coming up that way from my job and I got flooded almost and my the water was almost to my battery and I had to reverse and get to a dry spot,” Ambersley said.

Over in Sunrise, parts of the Amerant Bank Arena parking lot looked like a lake, but it didn’t stop thousands of people from trudging through the water to get to the P!nk concert, with or without shoes.

“We love you and we’ll do anything to go to your concert,” one group said.

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But not everyone stuck around. Serina Depalma bought tickets to the concert, but because of all the water in the parking lot and in the area, she left, not knowing how her night would end.

“It was impossible to get in,” Depalma said. “If I parked my car there and went into the concert, I would not be able to leave because the rain would’ve completely flooded out my car.”

Sunrise Police told NBC6 Wednesday that there had been some expected delays due to weather but it had been consistent with any other similar event at the venue.

Out at the beaches, gusty winds and heavy rain led to the red flags indicating “no swimming” being brought out.

“We were a little bummed at first, but it is cool to see nature do its thing out here,” said Brittany Hertzberg, visiting South Florida from Flint, Michigan.

On Hollywood Beach, some didn’t let the rains damper their routines. Runners were running, people were strolling the sand, including one woman on a treasure hunt despite winds gusting in the 20 mph range.

Sammy Stagman had low expectations as he headed to his restaurant gig Wednesday morning.

“It is going to be slow, I think, but you gotta try and make a dollar as much as we can,” he said. “So sometimes we will close down because I work on the dock, so sometimes the weather is too bad, no one is going to sit out there in this windy weather, so we will see.”

In Lauderdale Lakes, crews worked to clear a tree that fell on two cars. The owner said he thinks it happened late Tuesday night.

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A tree was discovered to have fallen on two cars in Lauderdale Lakes on Nov. 15, 2023.

The wet weather also made for some slick conditions out on the roadways, leading to crashes in some cases.

Around 2 p.m., cameras showed a crash on Interstate 595 west of Interstate 95 that had traffic backed up.

Another video from Only in Dade showed a downed traffic light along Coral Way near Southwest 13th Street in Miami.

In Edgewater, crews were out as a water pump worked to prevent significant flooding on Northeast 23rd Street.

Up in Oakland Park, which experienced flooding Tuesday night, more streets were again covered with water Wednesday.

Broward County Public Schools announced all of its schools and district officers will be closed on Thursday due to the heavy rain and flooding threats.

The flood watch for South Florida will remain in place until 10 a.m. Thursday.