So. Fla. residents clean up after storms

Tow truck companies work overtime to tow stalled vehicles

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The floodwaters may be gone now, but there is plenty of damage left behind for some South Florida residents, as they continue to clean up after Friday's storms.

Robert Santoni's grandmother was worried Saturday about the roof of her Hallandale Beach home.

"You can see all the damage that was done inside the room, and it was actually done all around the way," said Santoni.

Local 10's Baron James spoke with one child who described the flooding and the storms.

"The water kept rising by the minute," said the child. "When water started rising up, I knew for a second it was a hurricane."

"But it was steadily rising right, it kept coming up and that's when I panicked," Santoni said.

The family, who spent the day cleaning up and sandbagging, is preparing like so many others for a possible round two.

The City of Hallandale Beach gave away free sandbags Saturday morning as cars lined up at the Public Works Compound, taking home 750 bags.

Remarkably, with all the remnant rain from Tropical Storm Andrea unleashed on Hallandale Beach on Friday, only four homes, according to the Hallandale Beach City Manager's Office, took on water.

But, it caused a flood of trouble along dozens of streets mainly in the Northeast quadrant of the city, such as along Three Islands Boulevard, where cars and trucks stalled and got stuck in the standing water.

"It didn't look that deep," said Elizabeth Harker.

Rescuers like good Samaritan Werlei Zimmerer and his buddy had their hands full, helping car after car get to higher ground.

The city dispatched tow trucks picked up 74 vehicles, not to mention the countless private tow trucks on the job.

Alpine Towing and its 15 drivers said they have been working non-stop.

"Even a rain that lasts five minutes could create the chaos that you see today. We've gotten more than a hundred calls," said Edwin Torres of Alpine Towing. "You know, all the drivers you see here today are working 16, 17 hour shifts.

By Saturday evening, some 40 soaked cars, some beyond repair, sat in Alpine's Yard at 3500 Northwest 67th Street in Miami. Most of them were hauled in from drenched parking lots in hard hit Aventura.

Others were taken directly to car dealerships and repair shops, and some waiting for their owners to claim them.

"We try to help everybody out as best as we can. That's why I tell the public to work with us," said Torres. "I know it's an upsetting situation."

Torres advises drivers to take extra safeguards the next time bad weather wreaks havoc.

"That's why you have to take every precaution even with the smallest storm in high flood areas like Aventura, south of Hallandale Beach," Torres said.

One South Floridian said their 2013 Bentley convertible coupe worth $300,000 was damaged due to the rains.

"It was under water," they said. "It's all as you can see, wet."

Still, while the rain kept pouring, many cars kept going right through the floodwaters, something warned against when the city activated its Code Red alert.

"I was born and raised in Miami and I haven't seem anything like this in ages," said one person.

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