Wednesday's Weather Leaves Southwest Miami-Dade Flooded, Kendall House Wrecked by Fire

A cat perished in a fire at a home near Kendall Drive and 98th Court

In southwest Miami-Dade Wednesday night, the persistent rain just wouldn't let up. At the Oak Ridge community near 97th Avenue and 124th Street, homeowners got a pounding. They were forced to park on side streets in order to avoid major damage to their vehicles.

Jordan Swerdloff, who caught a ride home from work from a friend, said his wife had warned him about the flooding.

"My wife told me and I was like, 'What are you talking about,' something about having to walk home. I guess she was serious," he said.

Swerdloff faced the same fate of wading to his front door as his wife had, when his buddy refused to risk the car in the deep floodwaters.

Longtime residents say normally flooding in this area might otherwise recede in a matter of hours, but the incessant rain kept water levels rising.

"I'm flabbergasted! It hasn't stopped raining," said neighbor John Beltran.

Even on a night when the weather tested tempers, kind neighbors like Eddie Corcoran risked their own vehicles to shuttle folks back and forth from the makeshift parking lot to their homes.

"You just put up with it, it's part of Florida, you get a lot of sun too," Corcoran said with a smile.

Main roads like Southwest 136th Street and 97th Avenue were essentially impassable as stalled vehicles stopped traffic. Tow trucks kept busy.

For most South Floridians it was a night chock full of inconvenience, but for one Kendall family the night ended in tragedy. The elements wreaked havoc on their home, located near Kendall Drive and 98th Court.

"There was heavy lightning in the area. A witness said that they saw the weather head to the house smoking," said Capt. Daniel Bolline with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

The captain said it appears a lightning strike could have sparked the fire that ripped through the interior of the house. Heavy smoke took the life of a family pet, a cat.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Residents were not home at the time so there were no injuries.

The home, however, was totaled and is no longer safe enough for the family to live in. They will be staying with loved ones.

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