Torrential storms in South Florida overnight saw more than a foot of rain fall in a matter of hours, forcing the closure of Fort Lauderdale's airport and leaving tens of thousands of homes without power.
The city of Fort Lauderdale released a statement Wednesday evening urging residents and visitors to stay off the roads until the water has subsided, with shocking drone footage showing hundreds of cars left abandoned in city streets.
The airport is expected to remain closed until at least 12 p.m. local time on Thursday, authorities tweeted overnight.
Up to 15 inches had fallen across the area through Wednesday and the National Weather Service said another 2 to 4 inches were possible as a warm front continued to push northward, bringing a chance of thunderstorms.
National Weather Service Miami later posted on Twitter than more than 20 inches of rainfall had been observed in just 6 hours on Wednesday evening.
'Police and Fire Rescue continue to answer calls for service,' the statement said. 'Public Works staff are clearing drains and operating pumps to mitigate the water as quickly as possible.'
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for Fort Lauderdale and other areas, warning: 'This is a life-threatening situation. Seek higher ground now!'
There have been no immediate reports of injuries or deaths.