Weather alert: South Florida flood watch extended to Thursday as storms continue

Michelle Marchante, Howard Cohen, Devoun Cetoute
·5 min read

Most of South Florida is under a flood watch that has been extended to Thursday, with forecasters calling for heavy rain, gusty winds and scattered thunderstorms.

The watch will be in effect for most of Miami-Dade and Broward counties and parts of Palm Beach County until 8 p.m. Thursday. Forecasters are predicting that heavy rain should become less widespread Thursday, but flooding remains possible due to saturated ground, according to the National Weather Service.

The region is expected to see about 1 to 2 inches of rain, with isolated amounts of greater than 4 inches possible. Over the last 48 hours, many South Florida areas saw more than 2 inches of rain, with isolated patches of 6 to 8 inches, NWS Miami tweeted at 5 p.m.

The heavy rains have coincided with the king tides, the highest tides of the year, which started last Wednesday and ran through this Wednesday, according to NOAA.

“Heavy rainfall may produce flooding and/or flash flooding in urban locations as well as small creeks, streams, and canals. This is especially true for areas that recently received heavy rainfall, and for areas near the coast due to the combination of heavy rain and astronomically high tides,” according to the National Weather Service flood watch advisory.

Areas under the flood watch include West Kendall, Miami Beach, Homestead, downtown Miami, Doral, Hialeah, Aventura, Miami Gardens, Miramar, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Boca Raton, Pompano Beach, Plantation, Pembroke Pines and West Palm Beach.

The Middle and Upper Keys flood advisory has also been extended to Thursday morning.

Delays at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Airport

The rain has caused delays at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.

Just before 11 a.m. Wednesday, the airport issued a tweet to alert passengers that the heavy rainfall has flooded the entrance to arrivals and departures from Perimeter Road and that that road was temporarily closed due to the flooding.

“Motorists are advised to use alternate entrance routes into the airport from US-1 or Interstate 59,” FLL suggested.

Local 10 Meteorologist Brandon Orr shared a video on Twitter showing flooded streets in a Hollywood Lakes neighborhood shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday.

In the Keys, areas expected to experience flooding include Marathon, west end of Long Key Viaduct, Long Key Viaduct, east end of Long Key Viaduct, west end of Channel 5 Bridge, Channel 5 Bridge, east end of Channel 5 Bridge, Duck Key, Conch Key and Grassy Key. U.S. 1 between mile markers 54 and 70 may also see some flooding.

“Be careful this morning while commuting, and make sure to never drive through flooded roadways!” the National Weather Service wrote on Twitter.

A street flood advisory was in effect until 11 a.m. for parts of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, according to WSVN Meteorologist Vivian Gonzalez.

Sunny Isles Beach police alerted residents that continuous rain throughout the day in addition to seasonal king tides were causing flooding throughout the city. Police advised residents to not drive or walk through flooded streets or parking lots.

Rain chances in Miami-Dade, Broward and the Keys?

Miami-Dade County’s rain chances were 70% with gusts as high as 13 mph for most of the day, according to the National Weather Service.

Broward County’s rain chances were slightly lower at 60% chance of rain with gusts as high as 10 mph. Palm Beach County’s rain chances were at 50%.

As for the Keys, there was a 70% of showers and thunderstorms with an easterly wind near 15 to 20 mph, according to the weather service.

The National Weather Service said there was also a high risk of rip currents along the Atlantic beaches Wednesday.

“Hazardous beach & boating conditions again today! Small craft advisory remains in effect due to East winds: 20 Knots. Choppy conditions on the bays. Dangerous high risk of rip currents. Swimming is not recommended. And a coastal flood advisory continues through 8PM,” Miami Herald news partner CBS4 meteorologist Lissette Gonzalez said.