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South Florida in state of emergency after "life-threatening" rain

“Stay off the roads! Seek higher ground until flood waters recede,” the National Weather Service warned.

Lluvias Florida

(Voz Media/ Verónica Silveri)

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This Wednesday, heavy rain in South Florida triggered a flash flood emergency, an extremely rare weather situation that poses a serious threat to residents and can cause catastrophic damage.

Because of the situation, in fact, at least 221 flights were canceled and another 165 flights were delayed, according to Telemundo 51.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued multiple “life-threatening ” flash flood warnings across the region, including parts of Broward, Miami-Dade, Collier and Hendry Counties, where warnings remain in effect through Thursday morning.

"When we go to an emergency, we have people getting rescued from vehicles and particularly dangerous and life-threatening situations," explained Luke Culver, NWS Miami meteorologist.

The National Weather Service reported that accumulated rainfall reached nearly 12 inches in some areas, and Fort Lauderdale, where up to 8.5 inches of rain had already fallen, was expected to receive an additional 3-5 inches overnight.

“Stay off the roads! Seek higher ground until flood waters recede,” the NWS warned.

Bad weather forced the closure of Interstate 95 and resulted in hundreds of flight cancelations and delays at two of the region's major airports. At least 320 canceled flights were reported in and out of Miami International Airport, and more than 280 were canceled in and out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Another 560 flights were delayed.

Images shared on social media showed parking lots and neighborhood streets completely flooded by excess water.

Given the seriousness of the situation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade and Sarasota on Wednesday night due to heavy rains.

Shortly after, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also declared a local state of emergency.

“I just declared a local state of emergency, effective immediately, in response to the inclement weather in South Florida. As our departments work to keep residents and businesses safe, this is a necessary step to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our entire community,” she explained.