'Never Seen Anything Like This Before:' Severe Flooding Wreaks Havoc at Fort Lauderdale Airport With Planes Wading on the Tarmac and Buildings 'Sitting in Water' Fort Lauderdale saw around 20 inches of rainfall on Wednesday evening.

By Sam Silverman

Unprecedented flooding in South Florida has left travelers wading at the gate.

On Wednesday evening, a sudden drop of 14 to 20 inches of rainfall forced Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int'l Airport to close and videos of flooded terminals and airplanes rolling through waves of water soon began to circulate on social media.

The rain, which has been compared to hurricane-like levels by meteorologist Ana Torres-Vazquez from the Weather Service's Miami forecast office, per CNN, began on Wednesday. The flooding is expected to ease up into Thursday according to updates from the National Weather Service Miami-South Florida.

The airport announced around 5:40 p.m. that flights and roadway traffic were closed and asked people not to leave (or enter) the airport due to the ongoing flooding. At 11:30 p.m., the airport announced it would be closed until at least 12 p.m. on Thursday and flight activity won't resume until 5 a.m. on Friday.

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It wasn't until around 2 a.m. that people were allowed to leave the airport after reopening its upper-level departure roadway. The lower-level arrivals area remains closed.

Torres-Vazquez told CNN that the sudden burst of rain was a "1-in-1,000-year event, or greater."

A flash flood emergency was issued across South Florida into Thursday.

The severe rain also caused Broward County Public Schools schools and district offices to close on Thursday, in addition to canceling all extracurricular activities, according to a tweet from the school district.

According to video footage shared on Twitter, the surrounding area and roadways were flooded with water reaching car wheels and over the hood of several vehicles.

RELATED: People Run for Cover, Wade Through Water as Mass Floods Wreak Havoc on Disney World

Other clips show airplanes pushing through waves and travelers running from water seeping inside the building.

@yunieskyt51 Parece una ENORME PISCINA Así de grave fue la situación en el Aeropuerto de Fort Lauderdale. Me envían este video, registrado en una de las terminales, este 12 de abril. La administración del aeropuerto suspendió todas las operaciones por lo que caracterizaron como "severas inundaciones en los accesos a las terminales". "Por favor, no entren o salgan del aeropuerto", se leía en el twitter de la institución, al filo de las 5 de la tarde. #fortlauderdale #fllairport #severeweather #tiemposevero #Broward #florida #aeropuerto original sound - @yunieskyNow

Sam Silverman

Entrepreneur Staff

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. She writes for our news team with a focus on investigating scandals. Her coverage and expertise span from business news, entrepreneurship, technology, and true crime, to the latest in entertainment and TV news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

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