CUTLER BAY, FLA. (WSVN) - Some areas in Cutler Bay, including nearby 196th Street and 82nd Avenue, were under water after heavy rain.
Monday night storms continued into Tuesday as the residents of the area were flooded in.
Cars were being towed away after stalling out the day before.
Local drivers slowly made their way out of their neighborhood to avoid damage to their vehicles.
People were unable to make it to their own homes by car as they were afraid theirs would stall out as well.
Iggy Escandell, a Cutler Bay resident, said it did not take long before streets turned into swamps.
“Well, we had about 30 minutes of good downpour, and it’s all flooded again,” said Escandell.
“The water’s incredibly high,” said resident Michael Salinero. “We’ve lived here for nine years, and I’ve never seen it like this.”
The mayor of Cutler Bay, Tim Meerbott, assessed the area, Monday night. He has been living in the community since 1964 and mentioned this type of flooding is rare.
“I’ve lived here all my life and this flooding is unprecedented,” said Meerbott. “Fifteen inches of rain, and it just has nowhere to go. We have to rely on gravity to get the water out of here, and unless the tides are on our side, it’s not gonna go anywhere. We’ve had pumps running all night long, but there’s just not enough pumps in the world to pump this much water. Again, we have to rely on the canal system and gravity to work.”
Saga Bay is one of the lowest communities in the region and was severely affected by rainfall. The community’s lake, which acts as a retention pond, was full and overflowed into nearby streets and lawns.
“Saga Bay does have a lake in the middle of it,” said Meerbott. “It is completely overflowed [and] the roads are just completely flooded. Right now, we are trying to do an assessment. Usually, Saga Bay Lake starts 80 yards that way, but with this storm, you can see not only past the rim of the lake but just past behind us. Basically, a majority of Saga Bay has become Saga Bay Lake.”
Pumps have been running overnight to get water out of the area, but the mayor is waiting for low tides to come in so the South Florida Water Management team can open the flood gates to maintain the area.
“Next low tide is at 10:30 [p.m.], so I want to urge residents to please, you know, if you can’t get out, don’t try to get out,” said the mayor. “Your car will get flooded. Wait till gravity gets this water out of here, you know, hopefully, at 10:30 [p.m.] we start to see some of this water receding.”
Mario Gomez threw on his bathing suit and used his tape measure to measure the water level.
“This morning was the worst,” he said. “Right here, it was 19 inches. As you go toward the middle of the road, I think it’s about 14 inches, that’s the average. On the other side, the other exit, up to 25 inches this morning.”
City and County leaders were seen in a fire department high water vehicle Tuesday, looking throughout the neighborhood at the amount of flooding that has saturated the community.
“Can’t just move that much water with just pumps alone,” said Meerbott. “South Florida Water Management reported during the low tide they have opened all of their gates and trying to get the water there out as soon as possible.”
Water has been temporarily drained east to the bay and with the gates closing again during high tide as residents wait for things to dry up.
“We want everyone to be safe, first and foremost,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “We are working on the emergency, and we are planning for the future.”
There was more frustration for residents as the flooding continued into the evening.
“At one point the water was above my hood,” said Saga Bay resident Corinne O’Connell. “It was coming up above the hood, so I was pretty scared.”
Police have been called to close off certain areas to prevent more damage to properties and homes.
Meerbott said, in the meantime, stay inside and take precautions.
For residents of Saga Bay, the town of Cutler Bay has set up a special shuttle service from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. due to all the flooding. If you would like to use the shuttle, you must dial 311.
For people who have urgent needs or medicine, it is advised you call authorities to help you.
“You can only do so much but Mother Nature will smack ya when you’re not looking for it,” said MeerBott.
7Skyforce hovered over a Davie neighborhood on Southwest 17th Court and 145th, later Tuesday, where cars could be seen slowly driving through flooded streets.
Many lawns in the community have turned into ponds while ponds turned into lakes due to the amount of saturation.
In the evening when driving and navigating through the streets, there is little to barely any street lights, so it is recommended to drive in the center of the roadway, if you happen to be on the roadway at that time, and if you find yourself in water.
If you’re in an area that you are unfamiliar with, turn the car around and go the opposite direction.
Around three to six inches of rain has fallen in the area over the past couple of hours and more rain is expected.
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