'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.
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.
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.
Downtown Fort Lauderdale flooding pic.twitter.com/1a7fmLXz8z— Florida Drone Cleaning LLC DOUGLAS THRON (@douglasthron777) April 13, 2023
Fort Lauderdale flooding now in downtown has skyscrapers sitting in water! pic.twitter.com/8ab8Z3f6kp— Florida Drone Cleaning LLC DOUGLAS THRON (@douglasthron777) April 13, 2023
Other clips show airplanes pushing through waves and travelers running from water seeping inside the building.
Never seen anything like this before a flooded taxiway at Fort Lauderdale intl airport South Florida pic.twitter.com/ki4BOWb94k— Marco (@damacci) April 13, 2023
Fort Lauderdale airport shut down hours ago due to relentless rain but we can't get our due to flooded roads. Now the water is coming in and the rain isn't stopping. Not good. pic.twitter.com/HrGWmLUcdE— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) April 13, 2023
@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