Harrowing images show Fort Lauderdale airport flooded as over a foot of rain blasts Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A tropical disturbance that was capable of producing rainfall rates of 4-6 inches per hour caused significant flooding around communities in Broward and Miami-Dade on Wednesday, which included the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The airport has been flooded during torrential rainfall events, which made taxiways and roads around terminals resemble lakes rather than any type of transportation hub.

Wednesday’s event wasn’t as dramatic as what the airport saw during the historic 2023 rainstorm, but it still caused flooding at entrances and exits and led to the cancellation of dozens of flights.

Passenger Rich Basen was one of the many travelers stranded during the latest torrential downpour and decided to capture video and photos of the scene from the terminal.

Basen’s images showed vehicles traveling through water that National Weather Service meteorologists warned was too high to venture through.

On the tarmac, airplane traffic slowed to a near standstill as thunderstorms were just too much for systems to handle.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported that inbound flights faced delays of up to 7 hours, prompting some airlines to cancel flights altogether.

The airport has been flooded during torrential rainfall events, which made taxiways and roads around terminals resemble lakes rather than any type of transportation hub. AP
A foot of rain blasted South Florida. ZUMAPRESS.com

Data from FlightAware showed hundreds of flights were either delayed or canceled, with other airports across South Florida also reporting significant impacts.

The initial wave of delays and cancelations didn’t come close to the scale of the multiday closure of FLL in 2023, which resulted in more than 1,000 flights being impacted.

After last year’s debacle, city officials unveiled a $500 million plan to protect neighborhoods from flooding on top of a $200 million project that was already underway.

It is unclear if any of the newly proposed infrastructure played a role in Wednesday’s flooding, but the airport certainly did not experience the same massive flooding as seen during previous incidents.

An official weather observation site reported the city had received nearly a foot of rainfall Wednesday, with more still to come.

Data from FlightAware showed hundreds of flights were either delayed or canceled, with other airports across South Florida also reporting significant impacts. AP

In the hours after the issuance of a Flash Flood Emergency for Broward and Miami-Dade counties, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis worked to declare a state of emergency due to the flooding.

Unlike during some past events, high-water rescue vehicles were strategically positioned throughout the city.

However, the intense rainfall combined with rush hour traffic caused several chaotic hours for those who ventured out.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect through Thursday evening for a large portion of the southern Peninsula. Forecast models show some areas could receive at least an additional 6 inches of rainfall.

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