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Flood-Prone Miami Beach Was Underwater From Nonstop Rain

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – What's the old story in Florida? Wait five minutes and the sun will be out? It did not happen this Tuesday afternoon. In Miami Beach, it didn't happen at all.

Nearly half a foot of rain pounded Miami Beach right at the height of high tide.

"The rain up to my knees. I spent two hours in the restaurant to wait," said Miami Beach resident Frank.

Chopper4 was over Flamingo Park where the traffic was a mess – cars in a circle, snarled.

At the corner of Alton and 5th, cars created waves from soaked streets. It's an area which over the years has flooded extensively.

On 15th and Pennsylvania, which is in the heart of the beach away from the actual sands, there was massive flooding there as well.

While traffic got slightly better since it stopped raining, it was a mess on I-95. The highway cam even caught some people pushing a stalled car.

Basically, all the major streets on the beach were littered with stalled cars.

CBS4's Hank Tester noticed some businesses had to revert back to the sandbags to keep the water out.

"I thought we were going to fix this three to four years ago... we been at this five years," said restaurant owner Juan.

Juan was talking about the beaches huge financial commitment to install pumps to combat sea rise and the not so rare down pours. But not all the pumps are installed and a power outage knocked several off line.

"The issue today is the amount of rain we got, much more rain than what they are designed for," said Assistant City Manager Susie Torrente.

What was noticeable was the water did seem to dissipate quickly, especially compared to previous down pours. The pumps clearly had an impact.

"At least it is not as bad and five years ago," Juan said. "But it is still bad."

And in politically volatile Miami Beach, the rain and the pumps will likely be the issue of the day at city hall.

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