Good news! Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport is open after Massive flooding..

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ImageUS News, Florida’s Fort Lauderdale, April 14, 2023. Massive flooding that devastated the coastal city in South Florida city of Fort Lauderdale and its neighboring villages, closing schools and government facilities, resulted in the airport being reopened on Friday morning. 

Good news! Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport (FLL) is open with operations starting at 9am Friday. Looks like there is still significant flooding, but the runways are mostly clear. More storms possible after 3pm. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, a remarkable amount of rain over 2 feet drenched the coastal city of Fort Lauderdale, turning several streets into lakes. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was closed due to water for roughly 40 hours.

ImageAccording to officials, the airport reopened on Friday at 9 o’clock.

As operations gradually resumed and airline workers began checking in passengers, a number of customers were waiting in line to pass through security.

The Federal Aviation Administration said that departures were “delayed an average of 186 minutes due to runway obstruction.”

“Travellers are encouraged to CONTACT their airlines AHEAD of time to confirm updated flight timings.

“We’re planning to start our operation back up shortly out of FLL,” American Airlines tweeted Friday morning.

Surrounding areas were also lashed with well above a foot of rain, leading to rapid flooding that trapped residents, made driving miserable for motorists and frustrated air travelers who could not leave the airport.

Jeremy Ennis, who said he has been working in Fort Lauderdale for about 23 years, was stuck on a city road in his car Thursday as water levels remained high.

“Never have I seen anything like this, ever,” Ennis told “I’ve never seen this volume of water, and I’ve seen (Hurricane) Katrina. I’ve seen many more hurricanes.”

A few scattered thunderstorms are expected Friday and could bring localized flooding. The threat is not expected to be widespread. For the weekend, Saturday looks dry and a few scattered storms are possible Sunday.

Fort Lauderdale was hit with another round of rain Thursday evening which exacerbated flooding conditions, city officials said.

Image“Roads that were passable earlier today are flooded again. We strongly urge everyone to stay off the roads, if possible,” Fort Lauderdale city officials said.

“We had a headcount of 32 people in shelters on Thursday night,” said Amelia Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Roughly 600 others came through a family reunification center to receive food and water, Johnson said.

The flooding impacts have also prompted Broward County Public Schools Friday to cancel classes for the second consecutive day.

In addition to responding to hundreds of rescue calls Thursday, crews throughout the Fort Lauderdale metro area have been working to clear drains and deploy pumps where possible to help alleviate the effects of flooding.

Hollywood, Florida, Mayor Josh Levy said his city saw more than a foot of rain accumulate in areas that have been experiencing consecutive days of “seemingly nonstop rain.”

“The ground was already saturated so there is extensive flooding all over our city and throughout South Florida. Many roadways are impassable. Lots of vehicles got stuck and left abandoned in the middle of our roadways.

“I’ve lived here my whole life. This is the most severe flooding that I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued a state of emergency for Broward County to provide additional resources to crews and residents on the ground.

Rain was akin to high-end hurricane, forecaster says

Fort Lauderdale, home to nearly 200,000 residents, saw 25.91 inches of precipitation in a 24-hour period spanning Wednesday and Thursday, according to preliminary reports from the National Weather Service office in Miami.

The deepest standing water surveyed Thursday was in the Edgewood neighborhood just north of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where a still water mark of just over 3 feet was measured near Floyd Hull Stadium, according to the weather service in Miami.

Other surrounding areas, including Hollywood, Dania Beach and Lauderdale Lakes, collected between 12 and 18 inches of rain in the same 24-hour period, the preliminary reports show.

“This amount of rain in a 24-hour period is incredibly rare for South Florida,” said meteorologist Ana Torres-Vazquez at the weather service’s Miami forecast office.

A high-end hurricane would typically dump rainfall of 20 to 25 inches over more than a day, Torres-Vazquez said, describing the rainfall as a “1-in-1,000 year event, or greater,” meaning it’s an event so intense the chance of it happening in any given year is just 0.1%.

During the peak of Wednesday’s torrential barrages, a month’s worth of rain fell in just one hour. Fort Lauderdale’s average rainfall for April is 3 inches, and it’s been nearly 25 years since the city totaled 20 inches of rain in an entire month.

That’s why it will take time for the water to drain completely, officials said.

“Because of the extreme amount of water, most areas will need to drain naturally,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said. “Crews are out in neighborhoods clearing storm drains to aid water receding from neighborhoods. Vacuum trucks are being deployed strategically throughout the city.

“There is not one area of this city that has not been impacted.”

Music festival to proceed Friday

A three-day music festival in Fort Lauderdale is slated to kick off Friday as planned, organizers said, as attendees look to find alternate routes to navigate flooded streets.

The Tortuga Music Festival will open its gates at noon Friday, a festival spokesperson told CNN. The country music festival, which aims to raise funds for marine conservation efforts, will return for its tenth year.

“We look forward to a great weekend, for a great cause, and the best fans in the world to enjoy the tenth anniversary of Tortuga,” the festival spokesperson said.

Mandi-Lynn Guertin, who flew into Fort Lauderdale from Connecticut for the festival, said she had not experienced this much flooding before.

Guertin was in a rented car with her friends when the vehicle got stuck in about 3 feet of water, shut off and water quickly filled the inside. The group had to leave it on the side of the road.

“We currently can’t leave our Airbnb because the floodwaters are too high and no Ubers will come out to get us,” Guertin told CNN.

Climate change is making extreme flooding events more common

Extreme rainfall rates are a signature consequence of a warming climate, and they are happening more frequently as a result.

This is just the latest instance of record rainfall striking US cities, after several 1-in-1,000 year rains struck last year, including in Dallas, eastern Kentucky, St. Louis and Yellowstone National Park.

The reason climate change causes more extreme flooding is because warmer air can hold more water vapor, making storms capable of dropping much more rainfall.

According to the latest US National Climate Assessment, “Climate change has already shifted precipitation patterns across the country … including an elevated likelihood of extreme rainfall events.”

Increases in “very heavy precipitation events” – the heaviest 1% of all daily rainfall events – have been observed in every region of the US, according to the National Climate Assessment.

In the Southeast, records show very heavy rainfalls have increased by 27% over the past 50 years.

Biggest Floods ever in US

There have been many devastating floods in the United States throughout history. Here are some of the biggest floods that have occurred:

  1. The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927: This flood is considered to be one of the worst natural disasters in American history. The flood affected more than 26,000 square miles and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. It caused $1 billion in damages (equivalent to $15 billion today) and claimed the lives of more than 500 people.
  2. The Johnstown Flood of 1889: This flood was caused by the catastrophic failure of the South Fork Dam, which led to a wall of water rushing down the valley, destroying everything in its path. More than 2,200 people died in the flood.
  3. The Missouri River Flood of 2011: This flood was caused by record-breaking snowfall in the Rocky Mountains and heavy spring rains. It affected more than 4 million people and caused more than $2 billion in damages.
  4. The Hurricane Katrina Flood of 2005: Hurricane Katrina caused widespread flooding in New Orleans and other areas along the Gulf Coast. The flood waters caused extensive damage and claimed the lives of more than 1,800 people.
  5. The Colorado Flood of 2013: This flood was caused by an unusually heavy monsoon season in Colorado. It caused widespread damage and claimed the lives of 10 people.

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