ST. LOUIS – Flights were grounded, leaving travelers stranded at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after severe flash flooding.
The National Weather Service said it was 25 inches of rain in 24 hours that hit Fort Lauderdale and the Broward County region.
“The amount of rainfall is unprecedented, with reports of more than 20 inches of rain in some areas,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis. “Overnight, I signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency to allow the city to better marshal its resources in response to the storm.”
The record rainfall forced drivers to abandon their vehicles. The airport shut down until Friday at 5 a.m., which meant passengers were stranded in south Florida.
“They made us go get our luggage, so we leave the security area. To go back out to the ticketing office to our gates to get our luggage,” said Joe Sanfillipo, a St. Louis traveler. “We go get our luggage, and then they wouldn’t let us back in. So there was no food, no nothing. TSA wouldn’t let you in, and the airlines said you can’t check your bags until 3 a.m. So we literally sat there on the ground, no seats, nothing, everyone was just walking around kind of lost not knowing what to do.”
These St. Louisans were stranded in south Florida. Stuck with others in the same boat, while trying to get rebooked out of Miami.
“Of course, it’d be nice to get a free flight, but there was nothing they could have done,” Sanfillipo said. “The weather was just incredibly crazy. You couldn’t get out of your car.”
With more rain on the way, Florida residents are weary of all the water.