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Conditions improve for South Florida, flooding still affecting many neighborhoods

Heavy rainfall ends as double rainbow lights up the sky
Heavy rainfall ends as double rainbow lights up the sky 02:09

MIAMI - After days of rainy weather, conditions slowly improved for parts of South Florida on Thursday evening, but many neighborhoods remained affected by standing water.

After days of rain, South Florida sees beautiful sunset 00:20

CBS News Miami's chief meteorologist Ivan Cabrera said, "Conditions have improved remarkably and will stay the way they are. It will take a long time for the water to drain, but the worst of the weather... the five to 10 inches of rainfall that could have fallen did not come to pass, and for that, everybody can be excited about."

"A lot of the activity is now being displaced and pushing further to the South. The Keys are next in line for heavy downpours for the rest of this evening."

CBS News Miami meteorologist Cindy Preszler said the chance of rain for Father's Day on Sunday is only 30 percent. 

A flash flood warning issued by the National Weather Service for Broward County on Thursday afternoon was allowed to expire at 8 p.m. 

Flash flood warning issued for Broward 01:09

Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms had produced heavy rain in Hallandale, Dania Beach, Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches were expected to fall in the affected areas, which included Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Davie, Plantation, Sunrise, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Tamarac, Margate, Lighthouse Point, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Hallandale, Miami Gardens, Lauderhill, Weston and Coconut Creek.

Authorities urged drivers to avoid flooded roads. They say most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

South Florida continues to be under a state of emergency following 48 hours or so of periods of heavy rainfall. 
A flood watch for our area continues to be in effect until Friday night. 

Heavy rain, flooding causes flight delays

The bad weather caused delayed flights at Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport for the second consecutive day. 

As of 3 p.m., Thursday, Miami International has had 284 flights canceled and 132 flights delayed. At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, there had been 235 delays and 143 cancelations.

MIA's communications director Greg Chin said, "MIA's parking garages are near capacity because many returning passengers have had their flights canceled or delayed. Travelers with confirmed flights should consider other ways of getting to MIA such as ride-share services, taxi, public transportation, or family and friends."

Ticket and security lines snaked around a domestic concourse at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport just before noon Thursday. The travel boards showed about half of that terminal's flights had been canceled or postponed.

Bill Carlisle, a Navy petty officer first class, had spent his morning trying to catch a flight back to Norfolk, Virginia. He had arrived at Miami International Airport at about 6:30 a.m., but 90 minutes later he was still in line and realized he couldn't get his bags checked and through security in time to catch his flight.

"It was a zoo," said Carlisle, a public affairs specialist. He was speaking for himself, not the Navy. "Nothing against the (airport) employees — there is only so much they can do."

So he used his phone to book an afternoon flight out of Fort Lauderdale. He took a shuttle the 20 miles north, only to find that flight had been canceled. He was now heading back to Miami for a 9 p.m. flight, hoping it wouldn't get canceled by the heavy rains expected later in the day. He was resigned, not angry.

"Just a long day sitting in airports," Carlisle said. "This is kind of par for the course for government travel."

Floodwaters stalling cars, creating dangerous driving conditions

Ted Rico, a tow truck driver who spent much of Wednesday night and Thursday morning helping to clear the streets of stalled vehicles said, "Looked like the beginning of a zombie movie. There's cars littered everywhere, on top of sidewalks, in the median, in the middle of the street, no lights on. Just craziness, you know. Abandoned cars everywhere."

Flooding creates dangerous conditions across South Florida 02:51

Rico, of One Master Trucking Corp., was born and raised in Miami and said he was ready for the emergency.

"You know when its coming," he said. "Every year it's just getting worse, and for some reason people just keep going through the puddles."

Travelers across the area were trying to adjust their plans on Thursday morning. More than 20 inches of rain has fallen in some areas of South Florida since Tuesday, with more predicted over the next few days.

In Hallandale Beach, a driver turned into a canal and her vehicle sank. Luckily, she survived this incident. 

Neighborhoods flooded

Miami-Dade neighborhoods slammed by flooding from heavy storms 01:50

The rain has taken a toll in several neighborhoods in North Miami. That's where more than 20 inches of rain has fallen, turning some streets and roads into rivers.

Pamela Lawhorn-Schwalm has lived near N.E. 143rd St. and 12th Ave. for 25 years and she said she was astonished by the amount of rainfall.

Some Miami-Dade neighborhoods affected by flooding 02:53

"This is a lot worse than I have ever seen here in North Miami and there is water all around my front and back yard," she said as she also showed CBS News Miami some of her cell phone video. "But thank God there is no water inside the house. It is dry. This is nature. There is not much you can do about it. But this is worse than any hurricane I have seen and the no-name storm. There is so much water. I did not expect this much water but it just goes to show that you have to be concerned and watchful during the hurricane season."

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