Broward, Miami-Dade prepare for flood threat from tropical weather
MIAMI – With a looming tropical system already bringing wet weather to South Florida, people are preparing for the looming flood threat that follows.
Infrastructure in Miami-Dade and Broward counties will be put to the test by the first tropical system of the 2022 hurricane season. In Miami, pumps are ready in Edgewater and Brickell — both neighborhoods are prone to serious flooding.
Brickell resident Lucia Torres said she isn’t surprised.
“Every year around this time it’s pretty much the same. The weather is always bad after Memorial Day weekend,” Torres said.
Tatiana Grey, also in Brickell, said she’s getting ready.
“It’s just the beginning so we don’t know what to expect so it’s better to be prepared but not too crazy,” Gray said.
In Broward County, some businesses are hitting pause amid the flood threat, but others are staying open, like Danilo Cedeno at Hollywood Beach Trikke.
“It’s a great opportunity to organize and, you know, get stuff the way it ought to be,” Cedeno said. “We look at it as a day for us to catch up.”
At the Hollywood Broadwalk Friday, sandbags lined the doorway at Margaritaville’s Surf Shop, and some visitors from Georgia were wary of the impending storm.
“Oh we are terrified,” one tourist said. “We’ve seen tornadoes — we go through that — we have seen hail, we go through that, but to sit here and look at an ocean that is angry is something we are definitely not familiar with.”
But a group of ladies from Wisconsin said they weren’t too concerned about the storm.
“We are just like playing in the rain, just taking it in as it happens. It’s not too bad,” one of them said.
Because while this may not be a postcard perfect beach day, it is certainly not the land of snow and ice they escaped from.
“We were just playing softball in 40 to 35-degree weather,” one woman said.
Locals, meanwhile, said they know to anticipate flooding.
“Right here in the front, it is very inundated. The streets may be a little tough to drive on,” one South Floridian said.
People in low-lying areas also were picking up sandbags to protect their homes. A number of municipalities are offering sand or sandbags to their residents.
Residents gather sandbags
As residents of low-lying areas continued filling sandbags ahead of a tropical system set to dump heavy amounts of rain across South Florida Friday, officials urged residents to be prepared for hurricane season.
Local 10 News spoke to Richard Cahill as he filled up sandbags in Fort Lauderdale’s Mills Pond Park.
“The backside of the house where all the water comes from, it’s coming from the south and west,” Cahill said. “I’m not worried, just concerned.”
David Haley also wanted to shore up his home, filling sandbags across from the Pompano Beach Airpark.
“We want to make sure any entryways are blocked and we don’t get water intrusion in the house,” he said.
In Miami, sandbag distribution kicked off Friday morning at Grapeland Park just off Northwest 37th Avenue.
City employees shoveled sandbags into cars as people lined up to collect up to 12 bags per household.
“It’s a great service; we do it every time there’s a storm coming. We always bring sand to distribute,” German Mata, the city’s parks and recreation coordinator, said. “This storm, since we don’t believe it’s going to be as big as a hurricane, we only have one pile, but we usually have about four piles.”
Broward County officials said while its Emergency Operations Center hasn’t been activated for this storm, it’s a good time to get prepared.
“If you’re in a low-lying area and you already know you are, you want to be mindful of the amount of rain that is coming down and if you need to take protective actions, you should be doing so,” Broward EOC Director Tracy Jackson said.
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