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Heavy Rain, Seasonal High Tides Combine To Raise Potential For Flood

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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – What was once Tropical Storm Erika is no longer a threat to South Florida,  but the possibility of flooding is still very real.

On Fort Lauderdale Beach, ocean-front businesses know the risk of flooding exists.

Not just from any remnants of Erika, but from higher than usual tides.

"I expect to come here on Monday and this entire place is going to be flooded. That's my expectation," said Karly Mixon.

It wouldn't be the first time a particular stretch of A1A at Sunrise Boulevard has been under water.

Three years ago, the high tides and rain caused water to creep right into shops and restaurants.

City officials warned residents of the potential for a similar situation in the coming days and urged caution.

"It becomes impossible to tell the difference between a canal and a roadway when the water is flooded across the road," said Fort Lauderdale Assistant Public Works Director Nancy Gassman.

Dr. Nancy Gassman said tied could be six inches above normal.

She says the city has been proactive in flood prevention installing 50 tidal valves along the coast which keeps the water from building on the streets.

"Because of this flexible valve, it prevents the saltwater from coming up through the valves," she said.

Meanwhile on Miami Beach, a line of storms caused some minor flooding Saturday night.

The city has been working on a long-term drainage project and just this week scrambled to get extra pumps on-line in case Erika came this way.

Back in Fort Lauderdale, businesses have plans in place on case the water gets too close for comfort.

"We will raise our merchandise up. We will take precautions.  And if I have help, I will fill up some sandbags and keep it by the door. Stack them up," said Meena Lalwani.

"We're a little bit higher off the ground. But they're flat. So they'll bring things in so it doesn't destroy everything," said Mixon.

If it does flood around there, remember to avoid driving or walking through flooded areas.

Boaters need to be aware of high tides because high tides could cause lower clearance under fixed bridges.


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