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Wet Weather Taking Toll On S. Florida

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(AP)

(AP)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – South Florida residents may have to call Noah for a ride if the rain doesn’t end soon. Plus, severe thunderstorms with high wind gusts and flooding rains are expected to hit right around rush hour.

The rain and storms are the result of a low pressure system in the southeast Gulf of Mexico that is going to merge with a strong cold front Tuesday night.

The storms and weather will likely dump even more rain and increase the flooding threat across the area.

So far, the Florida Keys have taken the brunt of the rain and storms. Key West has seen nearly 10 inches of rain dumped on the tiny island on Sunday and Monday. Marathon also saw seven inches of rain during the same 48 hour period.

Key West reported a record-breaking 6.91 inches of rain on Monday. The previous record of 4.08 inches had stood for more than 100 years.

The bigger issue may come Tuesday evening as the most severe storms may move across South Florida in the middle of rush hour. On Sunday night alone, authorities said 48 accidents were reported on South Florida highways.

Of the 48 reported accidents, nine were hit-and-runs and one was a deadly accident involving a pedestrian in the Florida Keys.

The news isn’t all bad; the heavy rain has been helping to bring Lake Okeechobee’s low water level back to nearly normal. But, forecasters are expecting an unusually dry season which may negate the gains.

“We definitely need rain fall. We need it in the right places,” said Susan Sylvester, chief of water control operations bureau for the South Florida Water Management District. “Theoretically if it came right across the state and put four to five inches in Lake Okeechobee that would be very positive.”

If all that wasn’t enough, Miami-Dade County officials are also preparing for flooding later in the month and in early November due to unusually high tides.

Forecasters expect the tide to be eight to 11 inches above normal. All of the water could impact storm drainage systems and low-lying areas.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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