The Fort Lauderdale airport reopened on April 14th, Friday morning, after monumental flooding wreaked havoc on the South Florida city and surrounding communities, closing schools and government buildings and sending hundreds of residents to emergency shelters. After a downpour all Wednesday and Thursday, streets looked like rivers, and fields looked like lakes. The flooding shut down the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport for about 40 hours. Many travelers were stuck at the airport during this time, and several travelers were in line to get through security as operations slowly resumed. Departures “are delayed avg. 186 mins. due to runway obstruction,” the Federal Aviation Administration stated. “Travelers are advised to check with their airlines for updated flight times BEFORE coming to the airport,” the airport said.
Surrounding areas were also drenched with well above a foot of rain, leading to rapid flooding that trapped residents, made driving miserable for motorists, and frustrated air travelers who could not leave the airport. Jeremy Ennis, who said he has been working in Fort Lauderdale for about 23 years, was stuck on a city road in his car Thursday as water levels remained high. “Never have I seen anything like this, ever,” Ennis told CNN. “I’ve never seen this volume of water, and I’ve seen (Hurricane) Katrina. I’ve seen many more hurricanes”. In addition to responding to hundreds of rescue calls Thursday, crews throughout the Fort Lauderdale metro area have been working to clear drains and deploy pumps where possible to help alleviate the effects of flooding.
This rainfall exceeded the usual amounts of rain that occur during a hurricane. The deepest standing water surveyed Thursday was in the Edgewood neighborhood just north of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where a still water mark of just over 3 feet was measured near Floyd Hull Stadium, according to the weather service in Miami. Luckily, it looks like a dry weekend for Ft. Lauderdale to recover.