Business owners at the Dadeland Plaza in Pinecrest spent Thursday drying and cleaning their flooded shops, while crews drained water out of the swamped parking lot.
Pedro Rosado’s R & T Signature Grill was one of the victims of Wednesday’s flooding in South Florida.
"You could see here where all of this was getting up, all of this water here, went up to this level, we got the splash,” he said outside his establishment. “We had better than 7 to 8 inches of water gathering up against the wall here, then going into the restaurant, it just flooded this whole thing in here."
Rosado closed his eatery off U.S. 1 at 7 p.m. – losing all of his dinner revenue.
"So it just kept on rising, so we couldn't defeat it, we just closed the door and hope for the best,” he said.
Heavy rains soaked South Florida Wednesday, setting some records and flooding streets. Between 6-8 inches of rain had fallen within six hours in some places, the National Weather Service said.
A flash flood warning that was in effect early Thursday was replaced by a flood advisory for east central Miami-Dade, including the cities of South Miami and Kendall. That expired at 11:15 a.m., the National Weather Service said.
A total of 9.05 inches of rain fell in Pinecrest at the intersection of Southwest 63rd Avenue and 120th Street. Officials said The Falls received 8.43 inches of rain. The National Weather Service said it had received reports of water entering structures in The Falls area due to the persistent rains.
A total of 5.53 inches of rain was recorded at Miami International Airport, setting a new record for Oct. 2, the National Weather Service said.
At the Oak Ridge community near 97th Avenue and 124th Street, homeowners were forced to park on side streets in order to avoid major damage to their vehicles from flooding.
A family's house in the area of Kendall Drive and 98th Court caught fire and was severely damaged after a lightning strike. The family's pet cat was killed in the fire.
Sandra Canas said she came home and found what used to be her mother's house, which is next to hers, "completely in flames."
“Nobody was home, nobody was home,” she said Thursday. “I live right next door to my mom's house and everybody was out of the house except for the little kitty that did pass away.”
Her daughter Samantha Garcia heard and saw the lightning bolt, but said she went back to sleep and didn't realize it had struck the house.
Canas' mother passed away four years ago, and her father, brother, his children and his girlfriend live in the house. But on Thursday a pile of soot and fire burn debris covered the dining room floor, as a restoration crew secured the home and cleaned the mess.
“We lost everything. They have lost everything,” Canas said. “Everything is soot all over, there's water damage all over.”
The cleanup crew was able to salvage a few things, including photo albums with irreplaceable pictures.
Several roads were still inundated with water early Thursday, and existing floodwaters would take some time to recede from streets, the National Weather Service said.
At Dadeland Plaza, the parking lot was still under several inches of water early Thursday.
Jeanette Trasobares said she was getting ready to start a workout in Pinecrest Fitness at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday “when all of a sudden water started coming in through all the doors."
She returned to the strip mall Thursday to retrieve her car – unsure whether it survived the night.
It turned out it did.
"Oh my God, that was the best sound ever, hearing my car start and feeling the floors and everything was dry,” Trasobares said.
The parking lot was nearly back to normal by late in the afternoon.
Business owners at the plaza got an early start at pumping water out and clearing debris from shops.
"This is what it is, we have to fix it," bakery owner Patrick Feyten said. "There's no reason to cry about it, just fix the problem and move on. This is Miami."
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