MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida remains under a flood watch, but has held up remarkably well during the deluge that started on Sunday.
There’s a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico pushing plenty of moisture our way and that has crews from the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department working hard to keep water from overflowing our sewer lines.
Crews have been clearing sewer lines and getting clogs out of the system in order to make sure the water continues to flow smoothly and doesn’t back up and flood our streets.
“The system is full; it’s a full pipe,” said Vincente Arrebola of Miami-Dade Water and Sewer. “That’s the problem; it’s not only what we have gotten now, but what we are anticipating to get.”
South Florida Water Management District officials are also working to make sure there isn’t any severe localized flooding.
According to Randy Smith with the SFWMD, engineers began lowering canal water levels in Miami-Dade County on Friday and in Broward County on Saturday.
It’s their biggest water release of the year due to all of the recent rainfall, according to Smith.
All this rain is good news for Lake Okeechobee which now has a water level of 11.99 feet as it continues to recover from months of record drought conditions.
Rainfall in recent weeks has provided short-term relief that has begun replenishing lakes, rivers, canals and aquifers. However, regional ground and surface water levels are still below normal for this time of year, and water shortage restrictions remain in effect.
For some residents on Miami Beach, the rain was not a welcome sight.
“I came here to work, and I had to walk through the water,” said Mirium Alfonso. “I have been at this house 10 years and nobody’s fixed it.”
Still, Arrebola said that the best thing Mother Nature could deliver right now is a break.
“With the constant rain, it may not be a gully washer, but we are getting constant rains,” Arrebola said. “The system is basically tapped out.”
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer has more than 1,000 pumps and currently they are concerned about approximately 200 of them.