MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Global warming is being blamed by some for the more severe than usual flooding in South Florida.
At a summit on climate change in Miami being hosted by former Vice President Al Gore, both Gore and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson pointed to the coastal floods.
“Climate change is a reality, and we’re seeing it today on the streets of Miami beach,” said Nelson.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine called on the world to take a lesson from the flooding in South Florida.
“When they see Miami Beach being affected by sea level rise due to climate change, I think that wakes up a lot of people around the world,” Levine said. “Whatever happens on Miami Beach, the world knows about it.”
Miami Beach resident Carmen Rincon slogged through water to get to her car.
“It’s terrible, terrible,” Rincon said. “I am very worried about what is going to happen after this.”
During the high tide Sunday night, Miami Beach closed southbound Indian Creek Drive between 40th and 29th streets. The city plans to close it again during the high tide periods over the next couple of days – Monday at 10:28 p.m. Tuesday; and 11:03 a.m. and 11:18 p.m. Wednesday.
Another problem spot was along Chase Avenue.
“We still have street flooding, even in a neighborhood where we have pumps that are online and working,” said Robert Wolfarth. “It’s not just this neighborhood. It’s North Beach, it’s South Beach, it’s from the east to the west.”
Collins Avenue also experienced serious flooding. Despite the city’s storm water pump project, the problem for many beach residents is not fixed.
“The pumps were for storm water,” said commission Deede Weithorn, “Not necessarily for what we call, these are ‘King Tides’ which are high tides based on the moon.”
But there’s an even bigger problem than pumps being overwhelmed by water.
“The pumps are working backwards in some areas, basically they are not taking the water, they’re bringing the water up through the drainage and basically flooding our streets,” said Marcos Aleman, with Atlantic Coast Drilling.