South Florida Bracing For Heavy Rain And The Flooding It Brings

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BROWARD (CBSMiami) – With more rain on the way across South Florida, neighborhoods that have already seen heavy flooding this summer are concerned.

The morning commute was a mess in parts of Broward Thursday.

If you were in Dania Beach some roads turned into small rivers.

Bryan Martinez shot video on his cellphone in the 100 block of SW 3rd Avenue. Some drivers struggled through the high water, trying not to get stranded.

Others worried about becoming the next casualty in a fender bender.

“I live by 95. You hear the car accidents. You get used to it,” one resident said. “People don’t know how to drive. It’s too fast or slow – no one can figure it out.”

Michelle Fletcher says her Fort Lauderdale neighborhood is prone to flooding in this type of steady rain.

“As long as we don’t get hurricane, I’m OK for now,” Fletcher said.

The national weather service issued a flood watch for Broward, beginning Thursday and extending through Saturday.

In preparation, the South Florida Water Management District, days ago, started lowering canal levels half a foot.

And over at Miami Beach, the three drainage pumps in Sunset Harbor are working hard to ensure the flooding from a few weeks ago doesn’t happen again.

“(The flooding on August 1st) kept a lot of people off the streets. We didn’t get a lot of business that day. The neighborhood was pretty slow,” said Robert Ortenzio, who works at the NaiYaRa restaurant.

Last time, the problem was compounded when the drainage pumps lost power and did not have backup generators. That issue has since been fixed, with temporary generators placed at all the pumps. It’s a huge relief for business owners.

“We are on this end of the street and a little closer to street level,” said one beach resident. “It’s a good thing to add generators and make sure they are running 100 percent all the time.”

A flood the size of the one on August 1st is not necessarily expected this week, but just in case water managers lowered the levels in drainage canals.

There are a total of 18 generators throughout Miami Beach.

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