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Flooding rains inundate areas of Broward County, closing Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

More than 25 inches of rain fall in Fort Lauderdale, National Weather Service says
Flooded tarmac at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on April 13, 2023
Posted at 9:14 PM, Apr 12, 2023

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Heavy rains prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood emergency for Broward County after storms dumped more than a foot of rain on some areas of South Florida.

The emergency was later replaced with a flood warning, which eventually expired at 8 a.m. Thursday.

The NWS said more than 25 inches of rain had fallen in Fort Lauderdale.

"Even though the rain has ended, numerous roads remain closed," the NWS warned early Thursday. "Please heed any instructions from local officials, and please don't ignore any road closed signs."

Thunderstorms produced heavy rain in and around Fort Lauderdale for much of Wednesday afternoon and evening.

All public schools in Broward County are closed Thursday. All after-school activities, events and extracurricular activities were also canceled.

The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport experienced substantial flooding and will remain closed to flight activity until at least 5 a.m. Friday.

The airport's upper-level departures roadway reopened about 3 a.m. Thursday to allow drivers to pick up their family and friends who were still stuck at FLL. The lower-level arrivals road remains closed.

MORE WEATHER: Radar |Alerts | 7-Day Forecast | Hourly Forecast

WPTV First Alert Weather chief meteorologist Steve Weagle said storms sat over the airport for about six hours.

The NWS said Wednesday night that "life-threatening flash flooding" was possible in low water crossings, small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses.

The Fort Lauderdale Fire Department urged drivers to stay off the road.

Brightline train service between Miami and Fort Lauderdale was suspended due to the flooding, but eventually resumed at 8 a.m. Thursday.

The NWS said some of the locations that may have experienced flash flooding included:

  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Hollywood
  • Davie
  • Plantation
  • Sunrise
  • Lauderhill
  • Dania Beach
  • Chula Vista
  • Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport
  • Ravenswood Estates
  • Melrose Park
  • Estates of Fort Lauderdale
  • Downtown Fort Lauderdale
  • Washington Park
  • Broadview Park
  • Franklin Park
  • Port Everglades
  • Oak Point
  • Chambers Estates
  • St. George