Florida under flash flood warnings amid torrential rains

South Florida is gearing up for a wave of flash flooding expected to continue throughout Thursday evening as storms from the east move toward the state’s coastline.

Miami-Dade County is currently under flood watch, officials said in an advisory around 1.30pm ET on Wednesday. Residents are advised to stay out of the rising waters, which can contain dangerous chemicals and objects that could be harmful.

The water will continue until 10am Thursday. The downpour began on Tuesday, but officials did not expect to see showers until the following day. The population under the advisory includes seven million people.

The region is expected to have cloudy weather over the next several days as two storms head toward the state, creating persistent rainfall. The storms appeared to be originating from under the state close to the Caribbean.

Local National Weather Service expects said residents should anticipate five to eight inches of rain from the Florida Keys to the West Palm Beach area and should prepare to take action if conditions worsen.

Areas under flood watch include West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Fort Lauderdale has seen a total of over 100 inches of rain this year, according to NBC News.

By Wednesday, high waters had been pushed onto neighbourhood streets making it difficult for commuters to drive through certain areas. If a high king tide emerges, the conditions may become exacerbated as rising tides could become trapped with nowhere to go.

Images taken by weather officials at Sunny Isles Newport Fishing Pier showed grey skies over the Atlantic Ocean and choppy waters.

Nearly 500 flights in Florida had been delayed throughout the day as the storms made landfall, according to FlightAware.

At Miami International Airport, 161 flights had been delayed. At Orlando International Airport, that number was 188. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport saw 187.

The state had 16 hurricanes during the 2023 season. The showers are not expected to escalate to hurricane levels.