Student misses three days of school due to flooding in Broward County

NOAA displays the 7-day observed precipitation for April 18, 2023 of the state of Florida and neighbors. Photo credit: NOAA

Most UM students sprinted through campus with umbrellas and rain jackets last week in order to avoid torrential downpours. However, sophomore business technology major Gonzalo Weisman couldn’t get to campus for three days due to the massive flooding in Broward County.

Weisman commutes from his home in Hollywood, Fla. He missed classes Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week due to the major floods.

“It was one of the most affected areas,” Weisman said. “The streets of my community where I live were totally flooded during Wednesday and Thursday.”

Broward County experienced record-breaking rainfall on Thursday April 13, 2023, with more than two feet of rain on Wednesday evening. This set the record for the most amount of rainfall in 24 hours, although most of the rain came within 12.

The flooding caused Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport to shut down until Friday morning, when officials cleared operations to resume at 9 a.m.

“I thought that the Hollywood area had better resources to manage a phenomenon like this in a quick manner,” Weisman said.

Broward County as well as Miami-Dade is also experiencing longer-than-usual wait times for gasoline, due to the flooding affecting gas shipments to the pumps. Senior commuter student from Miami-Dade County, Denisse Rocco, who is a psychology and biology major, said that she will have to wait in long lines to fill up her tank.

“I heard from people I know in Broward that the flooding was bad, but I just didn’t think it would get this bad,” Rocco said. “Unfortunately, I’ll have to make a two-hour-plus line for gas, which is a bit annoying because these lines cause so much traffic and it’s hard to maneuver around the other cars like that.”

While the flooding was the first of its kind, Rocco recalls worse driving conditions during her years living in Miami.

“As a local, I have definitely experienced worse driving conditions when it comes to rainstorms, with the most recent experience being last semester with Hurricane Ian where I barely had any visibility when commuting,” she said.

As far as flooding on UM’s campus, Rocco said she experienced little difficulty walking around, but experienced some flooding while trying to park her car.

“The intensity of the storm was not very distressing for me, since I was fine just bringing an umbrella and water resistant boots,” Rocco said. “The only really flooded part on campus I saw was the part of Brunson Drive between the Communications school and the Red Zone, which is the lot I park in.”