MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – My what a difference a day makes for some residents of Miami Beach.
Wednesday they woke to bright blue skies and mostly dry conditions.
It was a very different situation compared to Tuesday when torrential rains from Tropical Depression Emily turned streets to rivers and caused storm drainage pipes to overflow. Nearly half a foot of rain pounded the city right at the height of the high tide.
At the corner of Alton Road and 5th Street, cars created waves from soaked streets. It’s an area which over the years has flooded extensively.
On 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, which is in the heart of the beach away from the actual sands, there was massive flooding there as well.
Underground garages at several apartment buildings flooded, some had as much as two and a half feet of water. At Sunshine Bay Apartments, residents were in disbelief of the flood waters – and yuck and muck they left behind. A thin layer of water remained Wednesday in the garage and some first-floor apartments.
“I’ve never seen this. I’ve seen a little flooding but I’ve never seen it like this,” said Mary Trumpi.
Some residents of the building said they tried to alert their neighbors to the rise flood waters in the garage.
“We went to all the doors, we’re banging, banging, banging, like crazy people and that was the idea, for people to come out and move their cars and help,” said Valerie Navarrete.
“I have never seen the water coming so fast, it was brutal,” she added.
Navarrete said an elderly woman had to go to the hospital after being stuck, water up to her knees.
“This black water starts to come in, she didn’t know what was going on, she though she was going to die,” said Navarrete.
In recent years, the city made a huge financial commitment to install pumps to combat sea rise and the not so rare down pours. But not all the pumps are installed and a power outage knocked several off line on Tuesday.
“We’re going to be installing permanent generators,” Beach spokeswoman Tonya Daniels told CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald after the flood.
What was noticeable was the water did seem to dissipate quickly, especially compared to previous down pours. The pumps clearly had an impact.
“A severe rain event like we experienced due to Emily is above and beyond the design capacity of our pumps. However, they performed well where they have been installed, which is 15 percent of our city,” Mayor Philip Levine told the Herald.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.