Fort Lauderdale officials say city recovering from historic flooding

FORT LAUDERDALE — Three days after the city was left reeling after receiving over 20 inches of rain in a few hours, Fort Lauderdale officials said Saturday that the city is slowly trying to recover.

Flood recovery news conference
The mayor of Fort Lauderdale held a news conference Saturday to discuss flooding recovery efforts.

CBS News Miami

“We’re doing our best,” Mayor Dean Trantalis said during a press conference at Holiday Park while joined with other officials. “Please be patient. The city has deployed over three dozen pump trucks to alleviate flooding in neighborhoods.”

The precipitation began Monday in Broward County before the heaviest rains arrived Wednesday afternoon.

The rainfall deluged city streets, trapped several people in their homes and led to the unprecedented closure of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Wednesday, stranding thousands of departing and arriving passengers. 

Fort Lauderdale was forced to issue a state of emergency as flooding persisted in parts of the city.

The airport eventually reopened Friday morning around 9 a.m.  

During the news conference, the mayor said an emergency shelter set up by the Red Cross had 130 people and had reached about 80 percent of its capacity.

Another city officials said airport operations were “up and running” and that most of the stranded vehicles that were left abandoned during the height of the storm had been largely removed from city streets.

The official said operations at Fort Lauderdale hospitals were also running as well as the city’s water treatment plants.

Between 14 and 20 inches of rain drenched Fort Lauderdale

“There is no reason to boil water,” the official said.

The mayor said the city had received reported of price gouging and scams by people purporting to offer repair services. 

Trantalis said reports of suspected wrong doing should be reported to the state attorney general’s office at 866-966-7226.

The city has also been beset by reports of ongoing shortages of gasoline.

Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Department of Emergency Management, said that rumor was ignited about an inability to extract fuel from Port Everglades, however.

“There is not a shortage of fuel,” he said. “Fuel is coming into the area.”

Guthrie said officials are working to compile a list of residents whose homes have flooding on the inside with water that has risen to the door knob.

“FEMA crews are being rostered,” he said. “We are looking for a list of specific addresses that have interior damage,”

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