Fort Lauderdale shelters 600 amid flood ‘emergency’

Adrian Vasquez and his son unload items from his flooded home into his car Thursday, April 13, 2023, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Vazquez's home sustained heavy damage after it was flooded by rain, destroying most of his families belongings. Fort Lauderdale issued a state of emergency as flooding persisted in parts of the city. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier) (Marta Lavandier, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fort Lauderdale officials announced Thursday night that there were about 600 people in shelters amid an unexpected flood emergency that started on Wednesday.

The evening rain caused more flooding on streets that were passable earlier, so Fire Rescue personnel and police officers were having to use boats, buggies, and high-water vehicles to respond to calls for help.

The flooding also forced city officials to close the Henry E. Kinney Tunnel. The list of flooded roads included Sunrise at A1A to 1600 A1A; 15 Avenue at East Sunrise; 2400 to 2900 Bayview Drive; Sunrise to 1600 Bayview Drive; and A1A at Ninth Street, according to city officials.

Weather Center: Flash flood warning in effect for Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood

Paula Prendergast, the executive director of the American Red Cross in Broward County, announced the opening of a shelter at Holiday Park, at 1150 G. Martin Drive, in Fort Lauderdale.

A low-pressure system caused a record-shattering 25.91 inches of rain on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, which could take the rainfall record for any Florida city in a 24-hour period. It was a “1 in 1,000-year flood,” meaning there is just a .1% chance of it happening in any given year. The last record of 23.28 inches of rain was set in Key West in November 1980 during Hurricane Jeanne.

Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, and Dania Beach officials declared a state of emergency. Broward County Public Schools closed on Thursday and Friday with a plan to reopen on Monday. The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport closed Thursday and was set to reopen on Friday morning.


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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.