Flooding remains possible on fourth day of soaking rains in South Florida

People navigate the flooded parking lot of a Winn-Dixie grocery store Thursday in Hallandale Beach, Fla. (Saul Martinez/The New York Times)

Steady rain showers were falling for the fourth consecutive day across South Florida on Friday morning, capping a week in which the soggy weather pattern caused major travel disruptions and flooded homes and roadways.

The threat of heavy rain was expected to slowly diminish over the next couple of days, according to the National Weather Service, with forecasters still cautioning that lingering showers may cause problems.


The weather service extended its flood watch through Saturday evening for much of South Florida, including in cities such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations,” the weather service said in the watch announcement Friday afternoon. “Extensive street flooding and flooding of creeks and rivers are possible.”

Day after day of rain and flooded roads made for treacherous driving conditions for residents, even in a part of the country that is accustomed to stormy weather.

Ashley Varona and her colleagues at a real estate firm went home early Wednesday to beat worsening flooding, but the roads were already saturated. Varona, 32, described the drive from her office in Sunny Isles Beach in Miami-Dade County, to her home in Normandy Isles, a neighborhood in Miami Beach, as “extremely scary.”

“There were a few times I thought I might get stuck,” Varona said in an interview.

On the drive home, her car’s anticrash sensors were lighting up, mistaking the large amount of water washing over her windshield for a possible obstacle. Videos taken by Varona show the bottom half of vehicles submerged in water as they sit idle in office parking lots. During a walk Wednesday evening, a constant stream of rain came down while standing water breached Varona’s rubber boots.

Renewed areas of flash flooding remained possible into the afternoon across that part of Florida. At times through Friday morning, the storms were expected to drop another 2-3 inches of rain an hour on top of the foot or more of precipitation that had fallen this week.

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