Almost 1,100 Fort Lauderdale-area homes suffered major losses. Gov. DeSantis asked for federal assistance after the area was hit with 26 inches of rain.

Note: Members of the Realtor family impacted by the rains and flooding are encouraged to apply for aid from Florida Realtors®’ Disaster Relief Fund. Realtors who wish to donate will also find links on the site.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A detailed, preliminary assessment of damage from the historical April 12-13 flooding in Broward County reported more than $100 million of damage, “major damage” to almost 2,000 homes, and hundreds of temporary and permanent layoffs by affected businesses.

The damage assessment was contained in a request Tuesday from Gov. Ron DeSantis to President Joe Biden for the federal assistance to help pay for the aftermath of the flooding that dumped nearly 26 inches of rain at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in a 24-hour period.

DeSantis asked Biden for a major disaster declaration for Broward County. His request was made Tuesday, in a letter to Biden via the Federal Emergency Management Agency. DeSantis made his request 13 days after the rains began inundating east central Broward County, especially Fort Lauderdale, Dania Beach and nearby areas.

The flooding closed the airport for two days, destroyed homes and damaged many businesses, and disrupted gasoline deliveries from Port Everglades to counties throughout the southern part of the state. The letter cited the rain that began midday April 12 and lasted until midnight the next day.

The “event resulted in historic flooding in areas not ever before seen in Broward County,” the letter stated, adding that, “the flooding in Broward County resulted in significant damage in concentrated areas.”


According to the request:

  • Damage teams from the state and Federal Emergency Management Agency determined 1,095 homes had received major damage and 255 had minor damage. It wasn’t simply flooding that was waist-high in some areas, but “hundreds of homes have been contaminated with raw sewage, further exacerbating recovery efforts.”
  • As of Friday, 2,350 claims have been filed from Broward with the National Flood Insurance Program. Another 35 have been filed from other parts of the state.
  • A business damage assessment survey found 227 businesses reported damage from the flooding and 226 reported lost revenue. That resulted in 57 businesses reporting layoffs, with 197 temporary and 50 permanent layoffs. The average reported business damage was $79,333.
  • More than $100 million of damage was faced by local governments, schools and the airport.

Government losses

The DeSantis letter said “it has been reported” that Fort Lauderdale City Hall “is a complete loss. This includes all equipment, numerous city vehicles, records management infrastructure, and information technology infrastructure.”

City officials have been discussing their desire for a new City Hall for years, and since the storm have said the existing structure may be a total loss. Mayor Dean Trantalis has said he would look to federal taxpayers to pay for a new City Hall.

“We will apply for federal funding to finance a new City Hall,” Trantalis said Monday.

The governor’s office also said “significant damage and water inundation” was reported by Broward Health.

Broward Health is the brand name for the North Broward Hospital District, the government agency that operates hospitals and health facilities in the northern two-thirds of the county. Its flagship location is Broward Health Medical Center, formerly known as Broward General, just south of downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Lots of rain

The request highlighted the 25.91 inches of rain measured at the airport. It also said rainfall totals in excess of 20 inches were noted in neighborhoods south of the New River including Edgewood, Riverside Park and Tarpon river, and an area of 15 to 20 inches was received from Hollywood and Dania Beach north to Fort Lauderdale.

And it referenced the National Weather Service confirmation of two tornadoes.

Timing, politics

DeSantis’ office announced on Saturday that he would make the request, which was dated Tuesday. It wasn’t clear precisely when or how DeSantis signed the letter to Biden, which was obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel after the state’s congressional delegation was copied by FEMA.

DeSantis was in Japan on Tuesday, on the first stop of a multi-nation world tour widely seen as an attempt to burnish his foreign policy credentials before an expected announcement that he’ll run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Copyright © South Florida Sun Sentinel, Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. All rights reserved.

Go to Source
Author: kerrys