Vero Beach has wettest day in city history

Posted at 11:41 PM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 07:51:58-04

Record rainfall in Vero Beach on Tuesday left hundreds of people with damaged cars, flooded homes and a lot of cleanup ahead.

WPTV meteorologists said two months worth of rain fell in Vero Beach.

At 8:23 p.m., WPTV meteorologist Steve Weagle said Tuesday was the wettest day ever in Vero Beach.  The city officially had 11.22 inches of rain on Tuesday, breaking a record of 8.82 inches set on Jan. 21, 1957.

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Tuesday night, some neighborhoods and streets had more than a foot of water, causing dangerous driving conditions.

Parking lots looked like ponds. Some streets looked like swimming pools.

Towing companies around the city were slammed with calls from drivers needing help getting their cars out of ditches, or needing a ride after stalling in high water.

“They’ve got me running over time, I’ve pulled about 15 already,” said Raymond Wood, driver with Mike’s Wrecker Service.

He says so many calls were coming in, his company even had to turn away business. Wood says Mike’s Wrecker Service alone had at least 50 rain-related calls.

“Very crazy,” Wood said.

Enamul Huq was among those whose cars became stranded in the rain.

A restaurant owner, Huq says he was driving to help one of his employees who was stranded driving to work.

“I came here, I got stuck in the water too,” Huq said.

A big issue many drivers experienced was the wait time to get help from a towing company.

Huq said he waited more than four hours.

Flooding also seeped into many Vero Beach homes.

Mobile homes in the Woodland Manor neighborhood were flooded with at least a foot of water in some areas.

“I was worried it was going to come up the steps and come inside,” said Laura Palmer. 

She knows she has a lot of work ahead to clean up the mess, prevent mold from growing, and try to salvage anything damaged by the water.

“We have to dry up and take whatever’s ruined to the dump.”