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Historic flooding in South Florida, AccuWeather gives businesses crucial time to prepare

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Businesses using AccuWeather SkyGuard Warnings received more than 40 minutes advance notice of imminent flash flooding in Fort Lauderdale, allowing them valuable time to evacuate and secure their buildings.

Key Highlights

More than 2 feet of rain fell across Fort Lauderdale, FL, during 24 hours on April 12

AccuWeather’s Storm Warning Meteorologists warned about the increased risk of flash flooding four hours BEFORE other sources

AccuWeather issued a tornado warning for a storm 18 miles away

Ft. Lauderdale Impacted by Historic Flooding

Fort Lauderdale, FL, was put under a state of emergency after more than 25 inches of rain fell in the city during 24 hours on April 12. AccuWeather For Business expert meteorologists warned about the potential for flash flooding hours before it happened. Multiple slow-moving thunderstorms moved through South Florida, causing significant flash flooding, business disruption, travel, and logistical issues. Businesses with SkyGuardⓇ   received exclusive warnings giving them more time to be better prepared and keep their employees safer. 

Businesses Better Prepared by AccuWeather

AccuWeather For Business Storm Warning Meteorologists took multiple calls from universities, retail locations, outdoor venues, and corporate security operation centers during the flooding event. Organizations received 40 minutes of advance notice and one-on-one consultations to prepare for this major flash flooding event in the following ways:  

  • Enabling universities to warn students of dangerous flooding proactively
  • Providing security operations centers with notice to enable shift schedule adjustment to account for local transportation disruptions
  • Preparing outdoor venues for interruptions to any active maintenance projects, load-ins, or load-outs
  • Alerting outdoor retail operations to a serious threat to outdoor products sensitive to flooding

While Florida is used to seeing heavy rainfall, the rate from these thunderstorms was much higher than usual, up to 6 inches per hour for multiple hours.FtLauderdale rain Businesses with SkyGuard warnings received exclusive warnings before the event, giving them extra time to move inventory to higher ground, evacuate employees and customers, and make plans to secure their buildings before the flooding.

The historic rainfall, being considered a 1,000-2,000-year flood event, forced the closure of Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, turning runways into rivers. Many businesses were left underwater, and motorists and people were stranded. Other buildings and infrastructure was damaged. A local fire station evacuated after more than a foot of water poured into the station.

AccuWeather For Business meteorologists used descriptive language that conveyed the severity of the situation, warning businesses to "watch for flooding on streets and poor drainage areas." As the conditions worsened, the warning upgraded to "life-threatening flash flooding is expected; avoid rapidly rising water." Other weather providers did not mention the risk of flooding or inaccurately described it as "localized flooding."

Be proactive with AccuWeather SkyGuard® Warnings backed by Superior Accuracy™, which will deliver site-specific alerts and warnings well before severe weather hits, giving you more time to prepare. Plus, get access to a team of expert severe weather meteorologists watching out for your business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Want to learn more about how to protect your business from the risk of flash flooding? Demo SkyGuard today.

Be better informed, better protected, and better prepared. 

Demo SkyGuard today.