A day after widespread flooding left parts of Miami-Dade inundated with rain water, the mayors of Miami Beach and the City of Miami said they're working to put systems in place to help prevent another potential disaster.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said around five and a half inches of rain fell in a matter of a couple hours in the Brickell City Center area Tuesday afternoon, damaging homes and businesses and leaving cars full of water.
"What we saw yesterday was extraordinary. It took everybody by surprise," Regalado said at a news conference on Wednesday.
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Regalado said there was also major flooding in Little Havana and several cars were damaged by flooding in front of AmericanAirlines Arena. He said the Brickell City Center garage was still closed Wednesday, while part of the courthouse was also damaged.
Regalado said there are already several water pumps in Miami but that more construction is underway that will provide better drainage to help with sea level rise. The pump system is scheduled to be fully installed by end of the year.
"This is the consequence of nature. We cannot fight nature but we can do something to remedy the consequences," Regalado said.
Meanwhile, in a statement Wednesday, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said he has directed city staff to immediately pursue emergency procurement procedures to install two generators for pump stations to prevent future flooding.
The purchase of the emergency generators was approved in February but Levine said the process to get them has been "bogged down in bureaucratic paralysis."
"As you can understand, this is extremely frustrating and the delay has clearly impacted the progress we've made to address flooding in our city," Levine said.
The heavy rain Tuesday pounded Miami Beach, transforming roads including Collins Avenue into rivers. Levine said the pump system drained the city's flooded streets quickly Wednesday morning. But more needs to be done, he said.
The Miami-Dade Office of Emergency Management is collecting information on the impacts of Tuesday's flooding on the business community.
Business owners who experienced damage or were forced to close their businesses due to flooding were told to report that information through the Business Damage Assessment Survey.
Reports should include insured and uninsured losses to determine if Miami-Dade County meets eligibility requirements for government assistance. When completing the form, owners should select Tropical Storm Emily under the Event/Incident category.