Preliminary assessment shows over $100 million in damage after historic flooding in Broward County
Broward County experienced major flood damage on April 12-13 due to nearly 26 inches of rain in a 24-hour period.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis requested federal assistance to help pay for the aftermath of the flooding, with a preliminary assessment of damage amounting to more than $100 million.
According to the request, the flooding resulted in historic flooding in areas not ever before seen in Broward County, resulting in significant damage in concentrated areas.
Damage teams from the state and Federal Emergency Management Agency determined that nearly 1,100 homes had received major damage and 255 with 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, resulting 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.
City Hall in Fort Lauderdale was reportedly a complete loss, including all equipment, numerous city vehicles, records management infrastructure, and information technology infrastructure. Broward Health also reported significant damage and water inundation.
The North Broward Hospital District, the government agency that operates hospitals and health facilities in the northern two-thirds of the county, reported damage. Additionally, the request highlighted the 25.91 inches of rain measured at the airport, with rainfall totals in excess of 20 inches in neighborhoods south of the New River including Edgewood, Riverside Park, and Tarpon river.
An area of 15 to 20 inches was received from Hollywood and Dania Beach north to Fort Lauderdale. The request also referenced the National Weather Service’s confirmation of two tornadoes.
DeSantis asked for a major disaster declaration for Broward County, in a letter to President Joe Biden via the Federal Emergency Management Agency. However, DeSantis was criticized for not visiting the damaged areas in person, as he was in Japan and attending political events in Ohio, Virginia, and New Hampshire.
State Senator Shevrin Jones criticized DeSantis on Twitter for taking a 19-hour flight to Japan but not taking a 1 hour and 50 minute flight to Fort Lauderdale.
.@GovRonDeSantis took a 19 hour flight to Japan, but couldn’t take a 1 hour & 50 min flight to Fort Lauderdale. 🤷🏾♂️😒
— Shevrin “Shev” Jones (@ShevrinJones) April 24, 2023