Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida was closed on Wednesday, April 13, 2023, due to heavy rainfall and flooding in the surrounding areas. The closure resulted in several flight cancellations and delays, affecting many travelers.
According to reports, the airport received over six inches of rain in just a few hours, causing flooding on the runways and in nearby streets. The airport authorities had to close the airport as a safety precaution and to assess the extent of the damage caused by the flooding.
The flooding in the area also led to the closure of several schools and the disruption of traffic on many roads. Local officials urged residents to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel until the situation improved.
Passengers traveling to or from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport were advised to contact their airlines for the latest updates on their flights. Some airlines offered to rebook passengers on alternative flights or issue refunds for canceled flights.
Images and videos shared on social media showed flooded streets, submerged cars, and passengers stranded at the airport. The airport authorities have not yet announced when the airport will reopen, but they have said that they are working to clear the floodwater and restore operations as soon as possible.
This is not the first time that Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has faced flooding issues. In 2019, the airport was closed for several hours due to flooding caused by a water main break. The incident resulted in the cancellation of dozens of flights and delays for many passengers.
With climate change leading to more frequent and severe weather events, it is becoming increasingly important for airports and other critical infrastructure to have robust plans in place to deal with such situations.
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Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Closed Due to Flooding
Here are ten steps that individuals can take to protect themselves against flooding:
- Stay informed: Keep an eye on weather reports and flood warnings in your area. Sign up for emergency alerts from your local government or the National Weather Service.
- Know your risk: Check FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to determine if your property is at risk of flooding.
- Get flood insurance: Regular homeowner’s insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage. Invest in flood insurance to protect your home and belongings.
- Create an emergency plan: Develop a plan with your family to know what to do in the event of a flood. Include an evacuation plan, a meeting place, and emergency contacts.
- Secure your property: Install backflow valves to prevent sewage backup, elevate electrical outlets and appliances, and secure outdoor furniture or other loose items that can be carried away by floodwater.
- Build barriers: Consider installing flood barriers around your home or property. Sandbags can also be used to create a barrier around doorways and windows.
- Maintain your property: Keep your gutters clean and in good repair to prevent water from accumulating around your home. Ensure that your sump pump is working correctly.
- Elevate your home: If possible, elevate your home above the base flood elevation to reduce the risk of flood damage.
- Evacuate if necessary: If floodwaters are rising quickly or officials order an evacuation, leave your home immediately. Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas.
- Have a disaster kit: Prepare a disaster kit with essential items like food, water, and medications that can sustain you and your family for several days in the event of an emergency.