FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Cleanup efforts are underway for homeowners after Fort Lauderdale experienced the rainiest day in its history Wednesday, damaging multiple cars and homes. Residents said they have thousands of dollars in damages.

Residents who spoke to 7News said something like this has never happened in the area and at one point the water was knee-deep. Now, they are demanding answers from the South Florida Water Management District.

Hallie Hodder, a homeowner in one of the affected areas said she came home at around 5 p.m. and within a few hours, water came rushing into her garage.

She believes South Florida Water Management didn’t expect this much water, and they may have opened the floodgates which allowed water in, flooding both sides of the street and the canals behind her home.

“I think that they opened up the floodgates, and that’s what flooded our canals and everything, ’cause this never happens. We get maybe a foot above the dock when it’s high tide or we have a bad rainstorm, but it has never gone that high, ever, before, so yeah,” said Hodder, “something definitely happened, and they did not prepare for this at all. They really need to fix it because it’s costing thousands of dollars of damages, and they need to fix it, so it’s not OK.”

Homeowners said they have been there during hurricanes when more rain falls and said they have never experienced something like this. They believe human error is to blame this time.

The South Florida Water Management District released the following statement:

The South Florida Water Management District continues its aggressive flood control operations in South Florida to drain areas serviced by our water management system. We are also working with local governments and drainage districts to support drainage from impacted areas as quickly and safely as possible while minimizing the impacts on areas downstream.

Prior to the recent heavy rains, water levels in our canals were already in the lower end of normal operating ranges for this time of year.

Residents and visitors are reminded to avoid floodwaters resulting from heavy rains that continue to impact portions of Southeast Florida.

  • If you face life-threatening flooding or are in imminent danger, call 9-1-1.
  • Avoid driving through flooded areas. When in doubt, turn around.
  • Ensure debris, trash cans, and other items are secured and cannot blow into drains, canals and swales.
  • Monitor announcements from your County Emergency Operations Center.
  • Floodwaters can hide hidden dangers. Do not drink or swim in floodwaters.

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