(Fort Lauderdale) Torrential rains in Florida caused flooding in metropolitan Miami on Thursday, forcing authorities to close schools and, at least until the next morning, Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

More than 635 mm of water fell in 24 hours in Fort Lauderdale, a city of 180,000 inhabitants located north of Miami, according to the American weather services. A figure higher than the April 1979 record, which was 370 mm.

These torrential rains caused many traffic jams, flooded the access roads to the airport and led to several flight cancellations.

“That’s stupid,” Rob Gouley, a tourist who was to travel with his wife to the Bahamas, told local Sun Sentinel newspaper. “It’s the first time we’ve gone together with my wife since COVID-19 and that’s it…”, he regretted.

The authorities initially hoped to be able to resume air traffic on Thursday, but had to postpone the reopening of the airport until Friday to clean the runways.

Coastal areas of metropolitan Miami were still on flood alert, with soils saturated with water and further rainfall expected.