FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - As South Florida gears up for a sunny weekend ahead, Broward County residents are remembering the catastrophic flooding that overtook their communities one year ago.

Fort Lauderdale residents are remembering the more than two feet of rain that fell in their city in a matter of hours on April 12, 2023.

“It’s really scary. Streets were flooded everywhere,” said one resident.

“I didn’t know the water would keep coming higher and higher and higher,” said another resident.

The bull’s-eye of the rain was Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, but neighborhoods in the area saw historic flooding as well.

“I lost all my albums, four or five drawers of pictures,” said Tammy Green.

7Skyforce flew over the floodwaters as they overtook people’s front yards and driveways.

“You can see water, just water everywhere, in people’s front yard, backyard, and their driveways,” said 7Skyforce’ reporter Ralph Rayburn.

Broward House was one of the buildings that was hardest hit by the floods.

“We service some clients living with HIV, substance abuse, mental health,” said Broward House CEO Nicole Burrell.

The facility, which was home to the people in the community most in need, was damaged due to the flood.

“Two of our buildings, we couldn’t even get into for about four days,” said Stacy Hyde, the former CEO of Broward House

The building was forced to close after more than two feet of water rushed inside. It was ultimately demolished.

“There was water and muck all throughout the building,” said Hyde.

But Broward House was rebuilt, and they hosted a grand opening on Friday night to mark one year of the floods.

“We are just hoping that when clients come in, they can truly feel at home, right?” said Burrell. “For the time that they are here, that they can see it as being a home that they are proud to live in.”

“We were unusable for the past year,” said Matthew Patterson. “We were under construction ever since, displacing 74 individuals.”

Burrell said 30 of the 72 beds are already filled up.

Due to Broward House reopening their doors to the public, many feel a sigh of relief knowing people in need have a place to go.

“This grand opening means a lot to me,” said Patterson. “This place took me when no one else wanted me.”

The residents who experienced the floods will never forget the images and videos of people leaving their homes on boats and air mattresses. Other footage showed people helping each other out of stuck cars near the airport.

On Friday, neighbors met at the American Legion in the heart of Edgewood to reflect on the experience.

“Going forward together is the most important thing to me,” said one participant.

“I thought it was important to bring people together, because this neighborhood really was ground zero for a majority of the flood,” said Kitty McGowan, president of Edgewood Civic Association. “Going forward together is the most important thing to me.”

“The night of the flood, I grabbed my father’s medication, my two dogs and my ferret,” said Tammy. “We didn’t have insurance, so we’re still not completely back together.”

The residents hung pictures of the devastation and shared stories of the historic flooding.

“I spent the entire night in the darkness with water above my knee and trying to keep my dog on the bed so he didn’t jump off and drown, and they rescued us by canoe,” said Thom George.

Some people, like George, only moved back into their homes a few months ago.

Fort Lauderdale officials, including Mayor Dean Trantalis, called the flooding a thousand-year event.

“As this was, some say, a thousand years storm,” said Trantalis.

As a result of the major floods, Fort Lauderdale City Hall was lost in the storm, but a year later, Trantalis is hopeful.

“We’re not 100% there, but where we are, as a city, is moving forward,” he said.

The mayor said that in the next 10 years, nearly 30 neighborhoods will get new storm drains. Some of that installation is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

When asked whether it will be enough to battle the floods, Trantalis replied, “Even the most sophisticated system will only accommodate three to four inches of rain per day. This is 26 inches in five hours.”

Due to those drainages not yet complete, some residents tell 7News they still get nervous anytime it rains.

Residents said they hope to never relive those days again, as the rebuilding of the city continues.

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