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Bad Weather Can Mean Bad News For Miami Water & Sewer

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - At Taco Chirido, you get an extra splash of rainwater whether you want it or not.

"We really didn't expect that much rain. It was pouring water the last two days," said Luis Esqueda owner of the eatery.

The result was heavily flooded streets, precisely why Edgewater is now aptly called "Underwater," by so many of its residents and business owners.

"I've seen people kayaking on the street and wakeboarding in the neighborhoods a little further away," said one Edgewater neighbor.

"We had like two feet of water coming all the way through here. The storm sewers were sending water out," explained Esqueda.

Miami Water & Sewer Department pumps deployed to dump all the excess water back into Biscayne Bay, which is brimming itself.

"These kinds of events just exaggerate the issues of how important and how critical and urgent saving the bay is right now," exclaimed Irela Bague, Chief Bay Officer for Miami-Dade County.

"We monitor the flows coming into the plants and, as they start increasing, and get near 160-million gallons per day, we start placing the plants on generator power," said Antonio Cotarelo of Miami Water & Sewer.

The Deputy Director tells us it's all part of a precautionary process to avoid any glitch in the system that could strain the electrical system. Cotarelo says all the water we've been seeing is the result of a perfect "storm" of worsening weather, sea-level rise, and development.

"We expect that sea-level rise continues to occur to get those higher flows and, also, as development occurs. The more development, the more flows are going to be generated."

For now, the floodwaters are just generating taco shop owner Luis Esqueda, who says he's looking forward to some of the construction around him coming to an end, "We're looking forward to the end and the outcome. We know it will be positive at the end. Right now, we are all suffering."

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