Heavy rains across South Florida cause road closures, ceiling collapse

LAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) - The skies opened up above South Florida on Friday, flooding roads, triggering road closures and causing the partial collapse of a ceiling at a home in Lauderhill.

Meteorologists said more storms are expected to move across inland areas, Saturday afternoon, but not as widespread as the line of thunderstorms that moved eastbound across parts of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties on Friday. Those storms later began to move off shore.

A street flood advisory was issued for parts of Hialeah and Doral, Friday afternoon. It was canceled at 4 p.m., but light to moderate rainfall lingered north of Hialeah in parts of North Miami Beach and Aventura. Hialeah reported over two and a half inches of rain.

The inclement weather also caused the northbound ramp connecting the Palmetto Expressway to Interstate 75 to shut down for about two hours. “Probably six or seven inches of water,” said a crew worker.

7News cameras captured a flooded road near the Latitudes at the Moors apartment complex in Northwest Miami-Dade. 7News viewers sent in photos of a flooded street near Northwest 77th Avenue and 175th Street.

In Downtown Miami, heavy downpours fell near Jackson Memorial Hospital. On I-95, work crews shut down a left lane near Northwest Sixth Street, near the Dolphin Expressway.

In Broward, heavy rains battered parts of Fort Lauderdale, all the way west to Davie and Coral Springs. Cellphone video captured two waterspouts forming off the coast of Fort Lauderdale.

In Palm Beach County, a street flood advisory encompassed parts of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens.

Just before noon, Lauderhill Fire Rescue responded to a townhouse along Northwest 56th Avenue, near 18th Street. Crews found a large amount of rain water falling through a large hole in the ceiling, which had collapsed in parts.

Cellphone video showed the water rushing in through the large hole in the ceiling. “Everything just started crashing down,” said resident Nashine Fredick.

7News cameras followed a firefighter in the house after the damage was done.

Fredick said it started as a leak, and before the family knew it, there was water everywhere. “I was sleeping, and my sister woke me up. She was like, ‘Come look at this,'” she said. “I got up, and it was like water falling through the ceiling,” she said.

Another Broward home was also affected by the storms. Firefighters responded to the residence located along Bayside Lane in Weston after, officials said, it was hit by a lightning bolt.

Officials said flames filled the attic, but no one was home. The damage sustained is estimated at more than $50,000.

The homeowner in Lauderhill said she’s had problems with the ceiling in the past but never of this magnitude. “It’s very scary. I didn’t think it was believable,” said Fredick. “I didn’t know the roof was going to collapse like that.”

No one was seriously hurt. “Luckily, everybody was able to get out,” said Lauderhill Fire Rescue Capt. Jerry Gonzalez.

Code enforcement officials said the storm water was just too much for the structure. They have deemed the home uninhabitable.

“It seems like there was a drain line that comes right through the middle of the building that was directly over a bathroom, and it just came straight down from there,” said Gonzalez.

Four adults and four children have been displaced. They will be spending the night with relatives.

City officials said it might not be until Monday until the home is deemed safe.

Meteorologists said drier weather is expected on Sunday and Monday, as Saharan dust returns to South Florida.

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