The National Weather Service reported nearly 18 inches of rainfall from Tropical Storm Eta in Pembroke Pines, a Broward County city of 180,000 on the edge of the Everglades. “In some areas, the water isn’t pumping out as fast as it’s coming in,” Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz told the Orlando Sentinel.
Many cities spent Monday trying to assess the damage and start cleanup efforts.
In Hollywood, low-lying areas were flooded and because the canals were at capacity, the pumps couldn’t operate as effectively.
Cities such as Pembroke Pines blocked off streets with barricades to prevent cars from entering flooded streets. Three parks were closed in Coral Springs because of flooding. And the Deerfield Beach pier was shut down, allowing workers to assess the damage it sustained.
The flooding in Oakland Park was made worse “because cars would not stay off the street,” said City Manager David Hebert. The cars created wakes that pushed water into people’s homes. Other homes, especially on canals and lakes, had water damage because “that water has no place to go,” he said.
There were isolated reports of toilets not flushing in Pembroke Pines — a fallout from the sewer system being infiltrated with excessive ground water.
Flooding was rampant through the streets of the Pembroke Isles gated community in Pembroke Pines, where residents said they were fortunate to have escaped any damage to their property. Children jumped and played in the water, which varied in depth from a few inches to as much as a foot and half in some areas Monday afternoon.
“Look, a new pool!” Pablo Quintero, 11, called out to his father, Oscar, 36.
Ana Franco of Southwest Ranches didn’t go to bed on an island, but she woke up on one. Overnight, the rains flooded fields on all four sides of her single-family home, on the corner of Southwest 172nd Avenue and 68th Street.
“All night the water was rising and rising,” she said. “One more hour of rain and it would have been in the house. I got lucky.”
In a Plantation neighborhood off Broward Boulevard, the water was so high Monday, that Tanya Clark’s husband snapped photos of a woman in a bathing suit floating down the street in a rubber duck. Clark’s sister, also in Plantation, had water bubbling up from the wood floor in her living room.