FLORIDA (June 4, 2022)—Cars floated on flooded Miami streets and first responders used high water rescue vehicles to ferry people to safety as a tropical disturbance dumped heavy rainfall on South Florida Friday night and Saturday.
Video posted online by the City of Miami Saturday morning showed some cars nearly submerged and others sitting in water that reached the vehicle doors or higher.
Robert Hernandez, an employee of Prestige Auto Towing in Miami, told weather.com in a phone call early Saturday afternoon that his company had received between 12 and 20 calls from drivers whose cars were stuck.
“A lot of flooding in Brickell, downtown and North Miami,” Fernandez said. “A Ferrari was floating. A lot of water damage. A lot of cars (with) water damage.”
The Miami Fire Department was using six high water vehicles to pull people from cars stranded in floodwaters, according to a tweet at about 6 a.m. ET Saturday.
“We continue to urge you to not drive or walk through standing water,” the tweet said. “Be safe and please allow us to assess the situation.”
Rescues were ongoing since the very early morning.
Some parts of South Florida received at least 11 inches of rain.
The system, Potential Tropical Cyclone One, prompted tropical storm warnings for all of southern Florida. It’s expected to become Tropical Storm Alex in the Atlantic as it moves farther away from Florida.
On Friday, at least two people died in Cuba after the storm brought heavy rainfall that caused flooding and landslides.
Cuban state media reported that the deaths happened Friday in the capital, Havana, according to The Associated Press. A person who fell into a rain-swollen river in Pinar del Río, southwest of Havana, was reported missing.
The country’s Civil Defense organization said homes and the power grid were damaged. About 50,000 power outages were being reported in Cuba late Friday night.
Friday morning, a cruise ship crew pulled 16 people from a small boat off Cuba Friday in rough waters churned up by the storm system.
“Carnival crew members onboard Mardi Gras spotted a small vessel in distress and stopped to help before 8 a.m. Friday morning as the ship headed toward Florida,” a news release from the cruise line said.
The cruise ship was on its final day of sailing and planned to return to Port Canaveral, Florida, Saturday morning.
Wind gusts over 55 mph were recorded in the Keys along with more than 6 inches of rain in some areas, and dozens of flights were canceled or delayed at Miami International Airport.
The weather comes just a few days after the official kickoff of hurricane season.
“It certainly is kind of an uncanny reminder that here we are at the beginning of the hurricane season and already we are having a tropical discussion,” Dan Summers, director of emergency services and emergency management in Collier County, Florida, told weather.com in a phone call Friday morning. “With the likelihood of a busy season, this is a good wake up call.”
Source: The Weather Chanel