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Parts Of South Florida Drenched, Flood Watch Lifted

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NAPLES (CBSMiami) – Relentless rain over the last few days has caused severe flooding in parts of South Florida.

The rain started Thursday night and parts of the Sunshine State have been under Flood Watch for most  Monday. The National Weather Service lifted the watch shortly before 4 p.m.

Despite that, NWS issued an urban and small stream advisory for northern Miami-Dade County and southeastern Broward County that will last until 7:15 p.m. NWS even issued a Flash Flood Warning for Miramar, Pembroke Pines and Hollywood that lasted until 9 p.m.

It was nothing compared to the situation in Houston, but NWS estimates that 4 to 5 inches of rain fell in the Hollywood area Monday night, temporary flooding parts of the city.

The heavy rains left streets saturated and drivers frustrated on their way home as they tried to navigate through the water, including several sections of State Road 7 along major roadways, such as Sheridan Street.

“I already came through (the water) already so what more damage can I do?” said resident Freddy Prestler.

Prestler say areas of State Road 7 typically flood and something needs to be done about it.

“They need to get it fixed,” he said. “They already know how bad it is.”

The National Weather Service says 7 inches of rain fell in the city between Friday and Sunday.

“It was torrential downpours,” said longtime resident Lily Ecker.

Esker says the city recently did drainage work in her neighborhood and it doesn’t appear to have done much.

“They just put a new sewer system in to avoid all this but it hasn’t helped,” she said.

City leaders said there is a road widening project being done by the Department of Transportation along State Road 7 that includes work upgrading the drainage system. They hope that improves the situation

Meantime, in southwest Florida, conditions have gotten a bit drier but heavy downpours are still expected.

During the downpours that started Thursday, some areas got up to 15 inches or more leaving some roads impassable.

Counties that were under Flood Watch earlier were coastal Collier, Glades, Hendry, inland Collier, and mainland Monroe.

The worst areas hit seemed to be in the northern part of Naples and into Fort Myers, according to NWS.

Search and rescue crews were busy getting people out of the Island Park neighborhood in Fort Myers on Monday.

Nancy Wieland  and her dog Sadie Mae were lucky to hitch a ride out.

“I picked up the phone when I realized it’s going to rain again. I’m not going to get out of here. As soon as I picked up the phone they were wonderful. They said, ‘Ten or 15 minutes, we’ll be right there,’ and they were,” Wieland told CBS4’s Ted Scouten.

Teams rescued more than a hundred people and two dozen pets.

“Basically, we’re going in a big loop. What you’re going to see is after we pick up the people, we drop them off at the command center where it’s safe for them. And then we’re going to start the loop all over.  That’s what we’ve been doing since 3 this morning,” said Lt. Steve Kalb with the San Carlos Fire Rescue.

Flood waters were so high that many people could not get in or out. Many schools and government offices were closed.

A couple was seen boating around the area. They said it was the best way to get around.

“We just went with our car, bought these, strapped them to the roof of our car, just so we can get home down the street,” said Leo Chagnon who lives in the neighborhood.

By Monday afternoon, drier conditions had moved in but there are still a few heavy downpours expected through the evening.

The Red Cross from Miami and Fort Lauderdale are helping those affected by the flooding.

Click here for the latest weather information. For weather forecasts 24/7, get the app.

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