Downtown Miami Floods After First Tropical Storm of Season as Region Faces More Rain — See Shocking Photos

Massive flooding locked up the downtown area, where cars were left stranded and people had to wade through knee-deep water to escape

Storm flooding Miami, Florida
Miami flooding. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty

Tropical Storm Alex hit Florida Friday and Saturday with heavy winds and torrential rains, causing massive flooding in Miami that turned streets into rivers, stranded cars and wreaked havoc on the lives of its waterlogged residents.

The ferocious storm system — the first one to be named and tracked this hurricane season — dumped more than 11 inches of rain on downtown Miami Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Flash floods stopped downtown Miami in its tracks during the worst of the deluge, which left much of the area under about a foot of water.

Tow trucks spent hours pulling cars out of the flood waters in trendy Brickell, downtown Miami's urban center, which was hit particularly hard by the storm, NBC Miami reported.

Firefighters spent hours rescuing drivers trapped in their cars, Tampa Bay CBS station WTSP reported.

Storm flooding Miami, Florida
Flooding in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty

During the storm, some drivers had to escape from their cars by climbing out of their sunroofs, WTSP reported.

Firefighters rescued one man who was standing on top of his car, waiting for help, per the outlet.

"At this time @CityofMiamiFire is responding to multiple calls of cars stuck in the water," a public information officer with the City of Miami-Fire Rescue tweeted on Saturday. "Please stay off the road and do not drive through floods."

Many did not heed this advice.

Jonathan Petramala of Climate Productions, LLC said he saw the chaos firsthand when he filmed people trying to plow through high water in Brickell.

"Just an absolute disaster," Petramala said in one of his videos. "I saw things I'd never seen before."

That included filming a Corvette trying to drive through deep water.

"What are people doing?" he asks in his video.

In another, he films a young woman climbing out of her sunroof and then trying to push her car through the deep water.

The rains flooded many homes, leaving residents waiting for the water to go down so they could start to clean up.

According to AccuWeather, 12.41 inches of rain fell in Cutler Bay by early Saturday afternoon; 11.61 inches of rain fell in Biscayne Park, north of downtown Miami; 11.27 inches fell in Little Havana and 11.05 inches fell at Miami International Airport, forcing many flights to be cancelled.

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Storm flooding Miami, Florida
Miami flooding. Joe Raedle/Getty

Other areas, including Hollywood, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, were also hit hard.

Miami residents won't get much of a break from the rain, which has a 50 to 60 percent chance of drenching the area again every day this week, NBC Miami and the Miami Herald reported.

Rain is also forecasted for other areas of Florida, including the Keys and Broward County, the Miami Herald reported.

Recently installed drainage pumps worked at maximum capacity this weekend, said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

"We moved the water off pretty quickly, but in some areas, obviously, it was really challenging," Gelber said. "There were some problems getting through on some streets, one of the main arteries was unpassable, but by and large water is dissipating."

Miami Beach installed the pumps because of increased flooding due to climate change, the Sentinel reported.

The storm moved onto Cuba, where it killed three people and left many areas without power, the Associated Press reported.

Climate change is making hurricanes and tropical storms stronger each year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an "above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season," Environment America reported.

Many, including Little Havana resident Steve Wright, are wondering when politicians, corporations and citizens will begin taking serious action against the climate crisis.

"We live on some of the highest ground in Miami," he tweeted over the weekend. "After overnight rain, we live in waterfront property. This is not even halfway point of flood event."

"But there is no climate change and we should not be adapting - since FLA's gov and senators deny it," he sarcastically added.

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