MIAMI – An intense rain band developed Monday morning over Miami-Dade County, causing flash flooding in certain areas, including downtown Miami, Hialeah, Opa-locka and Miami Lakes.
Local 10 News reporter Parker Branton was in Brickell Monday morning as the streets were impassable, with the water going nearly to his knees.
Several cars that had stalled out surrounded him at the intersection of Southeast 12th Terrace and Brickell Avenue.
The area is just a block away from Biscayne Bay, so the area is known to flood, but the flooding was even more significant than normal Monday due to Tropical Storm Eta.
One woman who stalled out in her Mini Cooper used a water bottle to try to scoop out water that had accumulated on her floorboard.
Tow trucks were seen going in and out of the area, removing cars that were left stranded in the middle of the roadway.
It appears that some drivers who were traveling at night couldn’t see how deep the water was.
Crews were working to pump out water, but even with the county’s $400 million project to have new pumps installed, the pumping system was overwhelmed Monday morning. By noon though, much of the water was gone from the streets.
During a news conference, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez confirmed that the city received about 50 calls for service in the morning due to Eta, and the city expects to receive more throughout the day.
Suarez said about 1,620 residents were without power as of 11 a.m., out of about 11,220 residents who were initially without power.
According to the mayor, downed trees were reported in some areas, particularly in the Edgewater neighborhood.
He warned residents to stay inside until the the water recedes as any downed power lines could electrify the water.
Meanwhile, drivers were also getting stranded Monday while trying to pass through flooded streets in northwest Miami-Dade.
Local 10 News reporter Amy Viteri was in the area of Northwest 67th Avenue, just north of the Palmetto Expressway, around noon and while the rain had stopped, the roadway still looked like a river.
“(I was) driving along 67th and I thought I could make the left that I needed to make, but it was flooded, so I said, ‘Let me keep going. Hopefully it will go down.’ It didn’t happen,” one driver said.
One tow truck driver told Viteri he has towed 17 vehicles as of noon.
“I’ve been to places where it’s more than 4 feet, 5 feet (of water),” said Max Rodriguez with South Florida Wreckers. “They think they can go through the puddles and it’s not safe.”
Another tow truck driver, Anthony Perez with Master Tow, was just trying to help his fellow South Floridians.
“It’s actually not about the business, we’re helping the community today,” he said. “We’re just helping everybody get out of here for free.”
Check the Local 10 Weather Authority page for the latest updates on Tropical Storm Eta.