By Ted Scouten

BROWARD (CBSMiami) – Heavy rains flooded out roads in parts of Fort Lauderdale, and was the same deal in areas of Dania Beach.

“It was completely flooded, like I didn’t think it was bad,” said Hannah Baldwin as she drove near SW 21st Terr. “Then as we drove in I heard the car start to make those sounds.”

That’s when she turned around.

Over the past week, the Fort Lauderdale area has gotten up to 14 inches of rain. Half of that was this past weekend.  It’s been rough getting around at times.

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Vacuum trucks are out in areas where the water is not draining yet, like in Melrose Manor off Davie Blvd.

Things are getting worse for an area of Fort Lauderdale with not much of a drainage system. This weekend’s rain raised the water table by 2 feet.

Fort Lauderdale Storm Water Manager Sandra Marie Pierce cited an example.

“You have a kitchen sponge on your sink and you pour a half a glass of water into, you pour a quarter glass of water into it.  Eventually it reaches the point where until It can drain through you can’t put any water into it. That’s basically what happened yesterday, the sponge just got completely filled,” she said.

Meanwhile, pumps are moving water out to the ocean after it’s collected in storm drains then dumped into canals that are pretty full even after being lowered before the week of rain.

“The flood gates are open, working around high tide, the pump stations are in operation 24/7,” said Randy Smith with the South Florida Water Management District.

While it’s still challenging to get around in some neighborhoods, help is on the way in Fort Lauderdale.

“The city is working on a massive storm water improvement project,” explained Fort Lauderdale Public Works Director Raj Verma. “It’s over $200 million. We will start working on the program come January and February.”

Ted Scouten

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