Tropical storm Eta has flooded cities in southern Florida.
On Monday, a man walks down a flooded street in his Fort Lauderdale neighborhood. Tropical storm Eta caused severe flooding in South Florida in areas already saturated by previous downpours.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla – You don’t have to look far to say we’ve had a wetter-than-normal stretch in South Florida.
But to put the flood in perspective, check out these precipitation totals released by the Miami office of the National Weather Service:
Fort Lauderdale had 86.57 inches of rain in 2020, which is already 24.39 inches more than an average year (62.18 inches).
And of course, we still have over seven weeks left in 2020.
Miami saw 82.19 inches of rain, up 20.29 inches from the 61.9 inches in an average year.
Palm Beach was 66.87 inches, 4.54 inches taller than their annual average of 62.33. These South Florida neighborhoods were the most flooded by tropical storm Eta
Tropical storm Eta arrived in the Keys on Sunday evening and continued to advance. Rain flooded the southern half of Florida, leaving streets and gardens flooded.
Tropical storm Eta didn’t hit South Florida but showered the area long enough to show where the water is flowing and where it stays.
Here’s where it stayed:
Miami proudly showcased its Brickell Pumping Station, designed to efficiently transport water from the business center to those interested in how the city is addressing climate change and increasing flooding due to weather events.
This should prevent cars from being abandoned by drivers who choose to wade through flooded roads rather than risk their cars further. On Monday, Mayor Francis Suarez said: “We have two permanent pumps with a capacity of 50,000 gallons of water per minute. The Brickell Avenue pump, in particular, for some reason, failed to work during the past two events.
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Along 25th Street in Lauderhill, a driver was driving on the road Sunday night and suddenly found that the road was over and the canal had begun.
On Monday morning, things were not much better elsewhere in the city.
Broward County had the worst rain since tropical storm Eta, turning parts of Broward’s suburban areas into South Florida’s Venice.
A car crosses a flooded street in a residential area of Plantation, Florida, on Monday, November 9, 2020. Tropical Storm Eta passed South Florida on Sunday evening, flooding roads and neighborhoods.
In The Island City, homes were considered islands on Sunday evening and Monday morning because several roads were underwater.
Many South Florida homeowners have been shocked by the extent of the flooding left by Tropical Storm Eta.
Experts say they are concerned about what a progressive and more robust system could do for the region.
Norcos said, “We’ve had flooding like this from tropical storms before; this was not really an exceptional flood for South Florida; we just haven’t had one in a while.”
The rainy tropical system came in the wake of a wet October month, but another aggravation factor was also at play; the sea level rises.
“I’ve been dealing with hurricanes since the 1980s, and that’s evolved into discussing how climate and hurricanes fit together,” Norcross said. “The fact that sea level is rising and rising a little more just a half an inch, an inch at a time, that makes our drainage system work more poorly.”
That makes it more difficult for water to make its way to the sea through the region’s network of canals.
For inland communities, such as Doral in Miami-Dade County or Lauderhill in Broward, it may take some time for the floodwaters to dissipate completely.
For sea-level rise specialists and researchers, widespread flooding is a reminder of the urgency of ongoing discussions in the region on resilience and adaptation.
“Miami has been playing Hurricane roulette for a long time,” said Caroline Lewis, Founder of The CLEO Institute. “It is going to be devastating if we get a direct hit from a cat 1, cat 2, cat 5 because our vulnerability is so real.
“The main takeaway for our elected officials is to heed climate science.”
Added Norcross: “We have a lot of issues to deal with. We have to solve the climate crisis, and we have to figure out how to live with a rising sea.