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More than 25 inches of rain floods Fort Lauderdale, most within 6 hours

State of emergency declared in Fort Lauderdale following 'unprecedented' rainfall
Residents walk through flooded street in Fort Lauderdale neighborhood on April 13, 2023
Posted at 10:40 AM, Apr 13, 2023

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — More than 25 inches of rain pummeled Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday — most of it falling within six hours — triggering multiple weather alerts and shutting down the city's airport.

According to the National Weather Service, 25.91 inches fell in Fort Lauderdale as of 7 a.m. Thursday.

Mayor Dean Trantalis said the city has declared a state of emergency due to the "unprecedented" rainfall.

"What we're seeing here is a 1,000-year incident. No city could have planned for this," Trantalis said Thursday. "No weather service could have warned us of this."

WATCH: Fort Lauderdale mayor gives flooding update

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis gives update on flooding

"Yesterday was like a sheet, a blanket of rainfall. Very widespread," WPTV First Alert Weather meteorologist Jennifer Correa said.

Dr. Pablo Santos, the meteorologist-in-charge of the NWS' forecast office in Miami, said most of the rain fell within a six-hour period from Wednesday afternoon into the evening, with several weather stations reporting up to 20 inches with that time frame.

WATCH: Streets flooded in Fort Lauderdale

Aerial video of flooding in Fort Lauderdale

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 around 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.

Santos said there's a .2% chance of these rainfall amounts occurring at the airport within a 24-hour period, and a .1% chance of them occurring in a six-hour period.

"It wasn't just Fort Lauderdale that received some significant amount of rainfall," Correa said. "That also spread into the areas around Fort Lauderdale and into Davie."

WATCH: Broward County rain totals

WPTV First Alert Weather meteorologist Jennifer Correa recaps Fort Lauderdale rain totals

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The NWS said 18.16 inches of rain fell in Hollywood, 17.3 inches in Dania Beach, and 15.06 inches in Plantation. In Miami-Dade County, 13.15 inches of rain swamped Coconut Grove.

Correa said more storms are in the forecast for Thursday.

"Today is going to be more scattered and separated thunderstorms. But with that we have the potential for more severe thunderstorms to develop," Correa said.

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