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(WSVN) - The National Weather Service issued an extremely rare flash flood emergency as South Florida experienced continued heavy rainfall, which began on Tuesday and is expected to persist throughout the week.

Communities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties were particularly affected by floodwaters that have already reached significant levels. Since midnight on Wednesday, Miami Beach has recorded 6.95 inches of rainfall, while Hallandale Beach has seen 6.01 inches. Other notable totals include 5.02 inches in Miami Shores, 4.41 inches in North Miami, and 3.82 inches in Hollywood.

The relentless downpours caused cars to stall out and put immense pressure on the drainage systems.

A street flood emergency was issued for parts of Miami-Dade County and Broward and was later extended. A flood warning for much of Miami-Dade and South Broward will remain in effect until 8 a.m. on Thursday. It extends north from Pinecrest, across the Miami metro area and as far north as Pompano Beach.

Wednesday night, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order declaring Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade and Sarasota counties under a state of emergency.

In Miami, floodwaters surged through Brickell Avenue and Southeast 14th Street, causing cars to create large wakes. The rushing water flowed down South Miami Avenue, affecting businesses such as Paperfish and Sexy Fish, with sidewalks submerged.

Pumps were seen working at 6250 Tamiami Canal Road, and people were seen wearing trash bags as rain boots as they waded through the standing water.

Residents in Fort Lauderdale’s Edgewater neighborhood said the roadways there flood often.

“I lost a car once there,” said a resident. “This is my second car, ’cause of one my cars was parked where the flooding was happening so, like, it died.”

A manhole cover was pushed up by the force of the water on Brickell Bay Drive, and another near the Brightline station in downtown Miami experienced similar issues.

“Some of the flooding is pretty crazy. I’m not gonna lie,” said Ethan, a local resident caught in the rain with friends, who chose to brave the weather for an unusual evening activity.

In Miami Beach, the streets were heavily flooded, with areas like 71st Street, Harding Avenue, Alton Road and 46th Street becoming impassable. One resident described seeing Corvettes almost underwater, estimating thousands of dollars in damage.

A man was seen standing on the corner of 71st and Abbott Avenue, the water was up to his knees.

Right across the street, water filled up a Chevron gas station.

“Look down the street. It’s messed up. You could sail a boat or walk a shark,” said the man.

Seattle native John Martin is visiting for a cruise. He said maneuvering the local streets wasn’t easy, but he also faced some challenges at the airport.

“Yeah, this is crazy. I spent a lot of my life in Seattle, but we don’t get flooding like this”, he said. “Getting here was quite difficult, so yesterday our flight was delayed four hours.”

Businesses in Miami Beach face significant cleanup costs, as floodwaters continued to seep in.

Sheets of rain have reduced visibility from high-rises and slowed traffic on Interstate 95 near the 836 interchange, despite pumps working in overdrive to manage the water.

“It’s a little annoying, but I mean, we will deal with it,” another resident commented on the ongoing challenges.

Due to the weather, Zoo Miami was closed early.

Miami Dade College cancelled night classes for all campuses on Wednesday because of the flash flood warning. Florida International University also cancelled classes at all locations on Wednesday night.

Due to the weather, Brightline announced service between their Miami and Aventura stations was suspended due to the flooding. A post on X reads in part, “Northbound trains from Miami and Aventura are suspended. Fort Lauderdale will be the final destination for southbound trains. “

Over in Broward County, the National Weather Service earlier on Tuesday issued a tornado warning, which has since expired. A flash flood advisory was issued which remained in effect until 5:30 p.m.

All libraries in Broward County closed down due to the weather.

Broward College canceled night classes and closed its offices from 4 p.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. on Thursday.

During the morning, a tree branch in Hollywood fell onto someone’s truck at the intersection of of Johnson Street and 59th Avenue.

“Heavy wind. Was a very heavy wind,” said a resident who heard the tree’s limbs fall off.

Kristina, another resident, said she heard the commotion outside.

“I was in the bathroom getting ready to start my day, and I just heard rumbling and dogs barking, and I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ A few minutes passed, and I go outside, and all – everything is destroyed in the backyard,” she said. “It was strong, for sure. I think something must have touched down. There’s damage around the whole neighborhood, so I don’t really know. It’s isolated damage.”

Residents throughout Broward County dealt with flooding at their homes.

“I put the dogs in, I’m all packed up. I pretty much got everything in, and we’re ready to go,” said Edgewood resident Anna Rysedorph. “My husband’s like, ‘Don’t panic, don’t panic,’ but you know, I’m not gonna be caught unprepared.”

Communities across South Florida experienced similar conditions. In Surfside, water gushed into a residential parking garage on 92nd Street and Collins Avenue.

Opa-locka saw residential streets flooded, with even a Brinks truck struggling through deep puddles. Hialeah’s mobile home community on West 29th Street was inundated, and residents had to navigate significant flooding.

Dania Beach and Hollywood also reported heavy flooding, with rain pouring down on the Florida Turnpike and causing traffic issues on Interstate 95 during rush hour, so much so that all southbound lanes of I-95 were shut down for hours between Oakland Park Boulevard and Griffin Road.

Broward County officials proactively prepared for the continued rainfall by clearing debris from storm drains to facilitate water flow.

“We know this whole week and probably on through next week, based on the forecast, we’re going to experience a lot of rain,” one official stated.

On Wednesday evening, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis declared a state of emergency for the city.

County crews were working around the clock monitoring the drains in flood-prone areas.

“We are going to different locations throughout the county that we know are prone to flooding,” said the official.

Teams were dispatched to flood-prone locations to mitigate the impact.

Air travel in and out of South Florida was also affected by the heavy rainfalls. Planes were seen piled up on the runway of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, causing flight delays and cancellations and leaving travelers stranded.

“We waited an entire year to have a one-week vacation from my job, and it turned out really well, and then we’re on the plane, we’re on the tarmac, and then the pilot said, ‘We have to switch pilots,'” said traveler Darlene Alejandro. “If we would’ve just left with the first pilot, we would’ve been in Nashville by now, two hours ago. We had to spend $700 to buy another flight from another airline to get a refund that won’t get to me until four days. So, it’s just disheartening.”

According to FlightAware.com, incoming planes to FLL were being held and diverted. Average wait times were roughly two hours, but that number increased as the day progressed.

FLL officials reported 144 cancellations, with 74 arrivals and 70 departures, and 70 delays, with 29 arrivals and 41 departures.

Over at Miami International Airport, officials reported 165 delayed flights and 221 cancelled flights due to the inclement weather.

Travelers are strongly advised to confirm their flights with their airlines before heading to either airport.

As South Florida continues to cope with the adverse weather, residents are urged to stay safe and remain informed about the inclement weather.

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