DeSantis declares state of emergency in Broward County following historic floods

by | Apr 13, 2023

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in Broward County following severe flooding caused by record-breaking rainfall.
  • Broward County schools and the Fort Lauderdale airport remain shuttered after more than 25 inches of rainfall was recorded.
  • The Florida National Guard has been activated to assist in emergency recovery.
  • The Florida Division of Emergency Management is also providing assistance and collecting damage assessment data.

Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a State of Emergency in Broward County on Thursday afternoon due to severe flooding caused by record-breaking rainfall.

A subsequent Executive Order reports that critical infrastructure, including major state and county roadways, airports, hospitals, and schools have been impacted and may continue to be affected. DeSantis additionally activated the Florida National Guard to assist in emergency recovery.

“On April 12, 2023, widespread showers and thunderstorms occurred overnight and produced significant rainfall totals, with certain areas of Broward County, including the City of Fort Lauderdale, witnessing heavy rainfall of over 25 inches, in addition to consequential flooding,” wrote Taryn Fenske, Director of Communications for DeSantis in a release. “The rainfall and flooding may continue to impact the operational capability of critical infrastructure.”

Prior to the issuance of the Executive Order, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) had announced the deployment of its personnel to provide assistance to local efforts, including the collection of damage assessment data in Broward County.

Additionally, FDEM states that it is maintaining regular communication with the Broward County Emergency Management Director and the Ft. Lauderdale City Manager to extend further support and coordinate future damage assessments.

According to FDEM, 4-8 inches of rainfall was recorded over southeastern Broward County and northeastern Miami-Dade County, with the heaviest rainfall amounts of 25 inches recorded through the Fort Lauderdale metro area. As rain continues to fall, an active flood watch remains in effect for coastal and metro Broward and Miami-Dade Counties until Thursday night, according to the agency.

A surge of rainfall in South Florida on Wednesday culminated in the rainiest day in Ft. Lauderdale’s history, leading to the closure of schools, airports, and municipal buildings. While damage assessments have yet to be conducted, growing recovery costs could spell trouble for an already-struggling state insurance market.

Sustained thunderstorms over Ft. Lauderdale are forecasted through Friday, potentially adding to the devastating flood levels.


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