Village and South Florida continue to clean up after first storm of season; flood watches extended until Wednesday | Vizcaya key

Kayakers paddled along the Village Green near Fernwood Road, while others jumped on paddle boards on Hampton Lane. This created some fun photo opportunities.

But it was no laughing matter for most Key Biscayne residents Friday night through Saturday, who were anxiously checking their ceilings for leaks when nearly 11 inches of rain flooded parts of the island and a much of Miami-Dade County and beyond.

These are just some of the aftermath of a 40mph tropical disturbance that swept across the state from the northwest Caribbean, eventually finding a path over Lake Okeechobee but dumping record rainfall across much of it. of South Florida.

But, overall, Key Biscayne did very well.

“I would say we were affected as much as anyone; there was nowhere for the water to go, so we relied on Mother Nature (to absorb it). … But the damage was relatively minor” , said Key Biscayne Fire Rescue. Chef Eric Lang.

“We had no damage to government buildings; we had pavement impacts – bricks appeared and a few potholes developed; and I will say for multi-family and some residential buildings, there is had water damage that we would consider minor. But it’s hard to know that without (see others).”

Fun in the water

Lang said his department received a few medical calls, checked some automatic fire alarms that went off, and responded to “a number” of stuck vehicles in which assistance was needed in some cases to get occupants out safely.

“The one positive thing is that this happened in early June, at the start of hurricane season, and it’s a very present reminder of how serious we need to be about preparing and taking precautions.”

Business in Key Biscayne was virtually at a standstill for most of Saturday, although the sun rose later in the afternoon.

“Driving around the island wasn’t a pretty sight,” said Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce executive director Tatyana Chiocchetti, who was preparing a damage assessment report Monday morning for the village. “But a lot of the water has since dissipated.”

According to Chiocchetti, the Square Mall on Crandon Boulevard experienced quite a bit of flooding in the parking lot as torrential rain overwhelmed the French containment drain under the sidewalk.

One of the acoustic tiles fell from the ceiling in Toy Town; Ocean Lane Drive was full of water; and the Esplanade Mall parking lot was also flooded.

Federico Elkarout, owner of Pita Pockets at the Arcade mall, said that although the parking lot was flooded, “customers could drop in and pick up their orders”, adding that business was “ok” for the day.

Islander News offices

In the offices of Islander News, water leaked and tiles fell on the desks. “Not a fun way to start the week,” Justo Rey commented as staff cleaned up.

Ana Maria Mandojana watched through the windows of her apartment all the rain, but she felt safe.

“No, I’m never worried,” she said Monday afternoon before boarding an overseas flight. “I lived through Andrew. My apartment (at the time) was next to CVS, and had no hurricane shutters, and not a single window broke.”

According to Miami’s National Weather Service, radar estimates for Key Biscayne showed between 10 and 11 inches of rain Friday and Saturday. Typically, Key Biscayne receives an annual rainfall of 53.1 inches.

Nearby Brickell, where dozens of videos of flooded streets and broken down vehicles have gone viral, received 10.65 inches over the two-day period, but 9.45 of them came overnight from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., as reported by NWS community watchers. .

Miami racked up 11.6 inches, while Biscayne Bay Park led the way with 12.72. Coral Gables came in at 8.69 inches.

Records fell at all rain measurement sites in Miami-Dade County, according to NWS officials. Records were also set in Hialeah, Hollywood and statewide in Naples.

Flood watches for Broward and Miami-Dade County have been extended through Wednesday

On Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service said flooding was watching Broward and Miami-Dade County have been extended until Wednesday as forecasts call for a 63% chance at Miami-Dade.

More than 4,000 power outages have been reported in the county, but there have only been single-digit outages on the key.

“Potential Tropical Cyclone 1 (later named Alex as it intensified in the Atlantic) was an important reminder to our community that now is the time to prepare for hurricane season,” said the mayor of the Miami-Dade County, Daniella Levine Cava. “Your safety is our number one priority, and we urge residents to follow basic precautions and use common sense to stay safe and help us protect our waterways as water levels drop.”

The Miami-Dade Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant overflowed, having received 310 million gallons of sewage and rainfall at the same time, well above its daily average of 143 million gallons.

No swimming warnings were issued from Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park north of the Venetian Causeway, closing Virginia Key in the process.

To report flooding or plumes from stormwater systems, simply dial 311 in Miami-Dade County.