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Florida downpour leaves many stranded, shuts down airport

Florida downpour leaves many stranded, shuts down airport
Source: Video Screenshot

Torrential rain has drenched much of greater Miami, leaving cars stranded and forcing the closure of schools and Fort Lauderdale’s airport until at least Friday.

The downpour on Wednesday dumped 635 millimeters (25 inches) of rain in 24 hours on Fort Lauderdale, a coastal city of 180,000 people, the National Weather Service said.

That was almost twice the amount of water that set the previous record in 1979. Fort Lauderdale is about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Miami.

The rain caused scores of traffic jams and flooded roads leading to Fort Lauderdale’s busy international airport, leaving many people stranded and forcing cancellation of numerous flights until the airport was closed altogether.

Authorities had hoped to reopen it Thursday but said a further delay until Friday was needed to remove all the water and debris from the runways.

“This is pure stupidity,” a tourist named Rob Gourley told the Sun Sentinel newspaper. He was angry because his flight to the Bahamas for him and his wife was scrapped because of the storm in Fort Lauderdale.

“It’s the first time out in five years because of COVID and everything. We’re ready to just drive home and forget it,” said Gourley, who lives in Sarasota, on Florida’s Gulf coast.

The city declared a state of emergency and asked people to be patient as it worked to reopen flooded roads.

Forecasters warned of possible flooding in metropolitan Miami because more rain was forecast for Thursday and the ground is already soaked.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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