GloFAS Bulletin Article, May 2023
Floods in South Florida, USA, April 2023
Torrential rain of over 600mm fell in 24 hours in South Florida, USA, triggering severe flooding on 12 and 13 April.
The Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Dean Trantalis, said the amount of rain was unprecedented and declared a local State of Emergency. The City of Dania Beach also declared a State of Emergency, and officials urged residents to stay off the streets. Broward County closed all public schools in response to the severe weather.
National Weather Service (NWS) Miami said Fort Lauderdale recorded 25.91 inches (658.11 mm) of rain in 24 hours to 13 April. Hollywood recorded 18.16 inches (461.26 mm) and Dania Beach 17.30 inches (439.42 mm). The average rainfall in Fort Lauderdale for the whole of April is between 3 to 4 inches (76.2 mm to 101.6 mm).
Image 1: Rainfall in South Florida, USA,12 to 13 April 2023. Credit: National Weather Service
Stranded cars littered the streets around Fort Lauderdale, the City of Dania Beach and surrounding parts of Broward County. Emergency crews received over 900 calls for assistance and worked continuously overnight 12 to 13 April to carry out rescues. Many of those impacted by the flooding were taken to an emergency centre set up by the Red Cross.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was forced to suspend its service. The Florida State Emergency Response Team (SERT) was called in to deliver fuel to affected areas after flooding at Port Everglades port caused fuel shortages.
As of 19 April, state officials had assessed 1,300 properties and found over 1,000 with major damages.
On 28 April President Biden announced a federal disaster declaration to supplement state and local recovery efforts in Broward County.
Image 2: Official from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wading through flood waters in Fort Lauderdale. Credit: Government of Florida
By Richard Davies May 11, 2023, 2:34 p.m.