Weather

Miami Is Totally Underwater Right Now Thanks to Tropical Storm Emily

Flooding on 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Miami Beach.
Flooding on 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Miami Beach. Photo by Tommy Strangie
Well, uh, don't drive in Miami right now. Thanks to the remnants of yesterday's Tropical Storm Emily (which has since weakened to a depression), most of Miami Beach and a big chunk of downtown Miami sit under something close to a foot of water. Cars can't move, trees have fallen into roads, and a flash-flood warning has been issued for Miami Beach until 5:45 p.m.

Miami social media users have been posting apocalyptic photos for the past few hours. You currently need an ark to make it through South Beach, and the National Weather Service's Miami office literally just tweeted out the phrase "turn around, don't drown."
Here's a breakdown of which streets in South Beach are blocked off due to flooding. Hint: It's all of them.
Frighteningly, some vital passageways through town are inundated: Mount Sinai Medical Center is getting hit with waves, and westbound MacArthur Causeway, one of the main roads off the barrier island, is submerged:
It's not just Miami Beach: City of Miami Police on the mainland have issued a warning about a microlake popping up downtown:
It also seems most of Brickell is flooded as well. New Times reader Charlotte Zoda sent the following photos:
click to enlarge COURTESY OF CHARLOTTE ZODA
Courtesy of Charlotte Zoda
click to enlarge COURTESY OF CHARLOTTE ZODA
Courtesy of Charlotte Zoda
click to enlarge COURTESY OF CHARLOTTE ZODA
Courtesy of Charlotte Zoda
Astoundingly, this is all happening without a major storm hitting Miami. Emily barely grazed South Florida — had a tropical storm or hurricane hit, things would likely look even worse than they do now. That's legitimately scary news: A November report from Miami-Dade County warned that the causeways leading people off Miami Beach are highly vulnerable to flooding due to sea-level rise. That means, as the globe warms over time, it's more likely drivers will get trapped in Miami Beach during a storm like this.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.