FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The winds and rain from Tropical Storm Eta have subsided across South Florida, but now residents are dealing with extensive flooding that has stalled vehicles, seeped into homes and turned residential streets into canals.
7Skyforce hovered above engorged lakes and canals that spilled into yards and cul-de-sacs in Miramar, Monday morning.
In Melrose Park in western Fort Lauderdale, residents woke up to inches of rain surrounding their homes.
“It’s bad. It’s really bad,” said one resident.
“Kind of crazy out here,” said another resident.
“I’ve been here 25 years. I have never seen anything like this before in my life,” one woman said. “Twenty-five years living in Melrose, and this is what we get. No help.”
The heavy rainfall has also turned dry lots into waterfront homes.
“My roof is leaking. I got two feet of water in the house, and this is just ridiculous,” said one woman.
One resident said water made it into her bedroom, and she even had to move her dog’s kennel above the flooded floor.
The city said they have deployed several pump trucks in an attempt to alleviate some of the standing water in the neighborhood.
Pump trucks have already removed over one million gallons of water from the neighborhood.
A Fort Lauderdale Police SWAT truck was seen making the rounds to check up on residents in heavily flooded areas.
Late Monday night, rain started falling again in the flooded neighborhood. The standing water is so high that some residents can’t even make it to their own homes.
Melrose Park resident Simone Campbell is being forced to spend the night outside her home, on higher and drier ground, after rainwater started pouring into her house during the weekend. She and the rest of her family will be sleeping in their cars.
The water inside the Campbells’ home is a deep, murkey brown.
“We can’t go in there. It stinks; everything is wet,” said Sharon Campbell.
In Sunrise, the streets remain flooded, keeping cars at a standstill, but water levels have receded as the sun came out.
SUVs and pickup trucks were seen navigating floodwaters off Oakland Park Boulevard, near Northwest 115th Terrace.
Other motorists decided not to attempt it and could be seen making U-turns as soon as they saw the water.
Resident Ron Jansen could be seen using is kayak to visit a family member who lives a few blocks away from him.
“I’ve been out here 30 years, and this is about the second worst it’s ever been,” he said.
Others were seen on bikes and even barefoot as they traveled through the community.
A bird’s-eye view of Sawgrass Mills Mall showed stalled cars in a parking lot that resembled a lake.
Residents told 7News they have never seen flooding like this.
“I’ve lived here my entire life,” one man said. “I’ve never seen this neighborhood get this bad, and last night it was 10 times worse than it is now.”
Resident Carolyn Rowland has called this neighborhood home for 40 years.
“A bit overwhelming with all the water. Unfortunately, the drain doesn’t seem to be draining dow there, so I don’t think it will go down very much, but it is what it is,” she said.
Much of Lauderhill remains inundated as of Monday evening. 7News cameras captured standing water in several parts of the city, including the Swap Shop.
“We’re going to be closed for today,” said an employee.
Officials said when the Swap Shop will reopen will depend on how long it takes for the floodwaters to go down.
The consensus among Lauderhill residents is that the extent of the flooding is unprecedented.
Northwest 21st Street has been flooded all day near State Road 7.
“Where my car is at the moment is more than 2 feet of water, so I just leave it where it is,” said resident Darius Madden.
A man was hospitalized Sunday night after his car went into a canal at an apartment complex in Lauderhill. Officials said he did not see where the flooded lot ended and the canal began.
“The canal was so overflowed that it looked like one area,” said Lauderhill Fire Assistant Chief Jeff Levy.
Rescue divers broke a window and were able to pull the driver out of the water.
“He did have a pulse when we got him to the hospital,” said Levy. “He is in critical condition, and we’re hoping for the best.”
Erica Stennett was at her apartment Sunday night when part of her ceiling came down. She said she’s not sure what her bext step will be.
“It just happened so fast. I got hit on the head, but I’m OK,” she said.
At a mobile home park in Davie, the water in the street has been consistently receding.
Residents said when the rain started, the neighborhood flooded quickly because they are surrounded by several bodies of water.
Many of the mobile homes are raised from the ground, so they did not experience flooding in their homes.
They do, however, have a number of add-ons, like storage and additional spaces, which did, unfortunately, flood out.
Many personal belongings were destroyed.
One man told 7News that of all the years he’s lived in the area, this is the worst flooding he has seen.
“It’s been rough. I’ve been up, you know, all night watching the storm and watching the water,” said resident Troy Rodriguez. “I have fish in my yard and everything. It’s rough.”
The neighborhood also lies on a septic tank.
7News spoke with homeowners who said it has spilled and is also in the street.
Gassica Ruiz’s home is against a canal, along the 4700 block of Southwest 47th Terrace. She said she’s nervous to get out, because she doesn’t know if she’ll find anything lurking beneath the surface.
“I don’t know if I’m going to get a snake or the crocodile that was swimming there not too long ago,” she said.
One person even used an airboat to travel around nearby Southwest Ranches.
Livestock in the area were also affected, including a herd of cattle seen walking through floodwaters.
Davie Fire Rescue also rescued some goats on Monday.
Rodriguez said he’s trying to figure out which belongings he can save and which ones are a total loss.
“I’ve been up all night watching the storm,” he said Rodriguez. “It’s going to take a while to clean my rooms and stuff from all this water.”
In the Walden Lakes subdivision of Pembroke Pines, roads remain flooded with inches of rain, and cars have been moved as close to homes as possible.
“It’s deep. It’s crazy,” said resident Jessica Chirino. “We’ve never, ever, ever, ever had it this high.”
Resident Brandon Desforges recorded cellphone video of water under the seat and in the tailpipe of his Lexus.
“It messed up my car, it messed up my neighbor’s car,” he said. “I came to turn my car on. I got to walking around; there’s so much going on.”
One woman who grew up in the area said that since 1988, she and her family have never seen flooding like this. She also estimates that the lake has risen about an extra 5 feet.
Some residents tried to leave their homes, but their cars stalled.
Neighbors were in the street trying to help people push their cars to higher ground.
Police in Pembroke Pines’ Chapel Trail Estates community put up barricades and warned drivers at the entrance after floodwaters stalled several cars.
Those who do not need to leave their homes are encouraged to wait until all the water has cleared.
Fortunately, there have not been reports of water moving into homes.
Some residents saw the extensive flooding as another sucker punch from a grueling year.
“2020? Anything that we can be thrown, we’ve been thrown,” Chirino said.
7News reached out to South Florida Management District. A spokesperson said all of their pumps are pumping, but due to the amount of water, it will take some time to get it all out of the affected areas.
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