FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – With Subtropical Storm Nicole strengthening as it threatened the Florida coast, Broward residents in flood-prone areas were preparing on Tuesday.
Mills Pond Park, at 2201 NW 9 Ave., in Fort Lauderdale, opened at 7 a.m. to provide city residents with six sandbags per vehicle while supplies last.
North Lauderdale residents also had access to a do-it-yourself sandbag station starting at 10 a.m. at Woodville Park, at 1500 SW 83 Ave. The limit was five bags per car and identification was required.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said at a conference, “If you live on the water, you will be the most eligible for the sandbag distribution.”
Quincy Tran, a Las Olas business owner, told Local 10 News’ Roy Ramos that flooding is certainly not out of the norm in South Florida.
“It is always flooding there-- always, said Tran. “The water would come inside the business.”
Subtropical Storm Nicole, which has the potential to become a Category 1 hurricane, was strengthened into a tropical storm.
“The arrival of Subtropical Storm Nicole coinciding with the king tide season means a heightened risk of flooding across our community, especially in low-lying areas,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Danielle Levine Cava.
County leaders in Miami-Dade are bracing for inclement weather but there are no plans to close or cancel schools, metro transit, parks or libraries.
Randy Smith, a worker with the South Florida Water Management District, said the county is monitoring water levels closely and have already opened the gate just west of Black Point Marina to move water out.
“What we are doing is dumping that water into the ocean to make room in these canals for the anticipated rainfall stormwater runoff from Nicole,” said Smith.
Across from the Pompano Beach Airpark, people have been given up to ten bags per household and while Nicole is still several miles from reaching the sunshine state, residents say now is the time to prepare.
Tom Doenig, Captain of Sea Tow Fort Lauderdale, urged residents to contact their insurance providers in case of property damage from the storm.
“Contact your insurance company and find out what you need to do in order for your claim to be covered,” said Doenig.
For those unable to pull their boats out of the water, Doenig advises tying down their boats with extra slack in the lines.
“With the storm surge, you want to have enough slack in your lines to allow the boat to go up and down with the tides to whatever the storm surge is,” he said.
Crews in Broward County have been busy clearing debris from storm drains to prevent any blockages.
Canals are also being lowered and some neighborhoods prone to flooding, now have “no wake” signs that have been strategically placed along the road.
Despite the weather threat, Election Day in both counties is scheduled to go on.
“All of our precincts will be open and everyone will be able to vote,” said Levine Cava.
Sandbags will be provided until 7 p.m. tonight or until they are out of the sand.
Collectors will need to bring identification to show active residency and city officials are asking that residents bring their own shovels to speed up the process.
Watch the 7 a.m. report