MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A flood of mammoth proportions in early August is very much on the minds of residents and businesses on Miami Beach, and in other flood prone areas as South Florida looks forward to rainy weather through the weekend. The National Weather Service says the possibility of flooding is most likely beginning sometime Thursday and continuing through the weekend.
On August 1st, the bottom fell out. A monsoon flooded large swaths of the beach, and spilled over to the mainland, also flooding the Brickell area, a hugely rare event. On the beach, the problem was compounded when power failed to the massive drainage pumps that did not have back up generators. That has since been corrected.
“We have 18 temporary generators that have been placed at our 18 pumps that we have already installed,” Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales said on Tuesday.
Even had the power to the pumps not failed, the system would not have been able to handle a rainfall of almost biblical proportions.
“When you get seven inches of rain in two hours, that’s what we call a one in 25 year or one in 50 year event,” Morales said.
The rarity of it was demonstrated by the flooding in Brickell, which prompted Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado to renew his call for a nearly $200 million bond issue to improve flood control and protect against future sea rise.
On Miami Beach, Adi Thakore’s Taste Bakery Café was among dozens of businesses flooded in the August 1st storm. He had raw sewage standing on the floor.
“There was like dirt and mud and all sorts of stuff coming up from the sewage. I had to shut down and clean out the store and had to open late the next morning,” Thakore recalled. He doesn’t even want to think about a recurrence late this week.
City leaders say business owners and residents should be thinking about it.
They say watch the news to keep an eye on the weather, have sandbags and other measures available if you think you’ll need them, move your car if it’s parked in a flood prone area, don’t litter because trash clogs drains, and keep your flood insurance policy handy if you have to file a claim.
A flood the size of the one on August 1 is not necessarily expected this week, but just in case water managers are already lowering the levels in drainage canals.
Miami Beach city officials put out a guide on what to do before, during and after a flood. Click here for the full guide.
To report flooding, you can use their e-Gov app or call (305) 604-CITY.