SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami.com) – A new lake formed late Tuesday afternoon in the area of Miller Drive and SW 120th Avenue, flooding homes, businesses, and stranding an empty Miami-Dade school bus in a sinkhole.
The instant flood started when a Miami-Dade Water=Sewer water main broke. The water could be seen gushing into the street, stalling a school bus, and flooding nearby fields, businesses, and turning homes into islands.
Trees and other plants at a nursery looked like they were being irrigated, with water flooding down between the rows.
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department managers said it was a 32-inch line that burst. They said that the valves had been shut off and the pipe had been isolated.
The health department says there will be no boil-water order in effect.
Miami-Dade Police diverted traffic at Miller Drive (SW 56th Street) onto SW 123rd Avenue, in the area known as Horse Country.
Rene Garcia of Rene’s Landscaping on SW 125th avenue, said, “This is the first time I’ve ever seen this. I don’t really know what to do.” Garcia had 8 horses and a donkey on his land, and from the helicopter, the animals could be seen standing in the new flood, apparently in good condition.
From Chopper 4, water could be seen flooding into the median on Miller Drive, as the front of the school bus was trapped perilously close. The bus appeared to be empty, and the driver was able to escape.
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer representatives could be seen on the scene, but no repair work has been done.
Police are suggesting drivers avoid the area, since the water is deep in places.
It took about an hour to shut off the leak. And while crews pump out the water, people who live nearby are cleaning up their swampy homes.
Sarah Oramas couldn’t believe how fast the water rose.
“By the time we actually found out what was happening and saw the water coming in we tried to pick up everything and get it off the floor onto beds, tables anything….I saw it coming up the steps, on the steps of my house, and I saw it at the last step and that’s right when we left,” Oramas told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.
Oramas worried about the ponies her family boards on their 5-acre property.
“They were basically swimming but we got them,” she said.
A very haggard little puppy named Pee Wee had a very close call. His owner says he was floating on top of a box on the water.
Though the animals survived, some farmers, like Sergio Garcia fear their crops may not.
He’s been working for 2 years to open a farmer’s market.
“We were hoping to open up this weekend, but I don’t know about now,” he said.