South Florida prepares for Nicole’s expected heavy rain, coastal flooding – CBS News

FORT LAUDERDALE – Crews are cleaning out storm drains all over South Florida. They’re getting debris out before the expected rain from Nicole.

When those drains are blocked that’s when water backs up, flooding neighborhoods and homes.   

Already, the South Florida Water Management District is lowering canals, making space for flood waters. “We want to physically make more room in these canals you see all over the place, so they are ready to accept the stormwater and rainwater that’s anticipated from Nicole,” Randy Smith from SFLWMD said.

In Pompano Beach, they’re loading up sandbags to hand out to residents, so they can use them to keep flood waters out of their homes. Several cities plan to do the same. 

And on the water, boaters are alert. “Right now, we’re all just glued to the television to find out if something is really going to happen,” said Boater Julian Siegel.  He’s keeping a keen eye on the forecast for Nicole. 

“I was having coffee this morning, so confident thinking for sure this is Lake Okeechobee and north, having my coffee at 7:30 this morning and out of nowhere 9:30-10 it says hurricane watch,” he said. 

He tells CBS4 that kicks it into a higher level of concern. He’s in prep mode. “Right now I’m going to make sure I get back my big fenders I’ve loaned to other people with yachts so I can have big fenders for my sport fish. I’m going to make sure all my lines are together so I can secure my vessel as best I can,” he said.

Having those lines ready, Julian’s friend, Marine Engineer Paul Thom said, while he’s not tying up any boats just yet —but there are preps you should make now.  “Under a hurricane watch make sure there are no loose items, if you have moorings you can take down, Bimini tops things like that, you can do that.  Preparedness is the best scenario,” Thom said. 

Meanwhile, boater John Yeager already pulled his boat out of the water.   “I decided to pull the boat out.  Seems like it’s going to be a major rain event, some wind, I’m more concerned about the rain,” he said. 

John said the plan now is to bring the boat to his house and put it on the side of a building to protect it from wind. He suggests others act soon. 

“If you have the opportunity to pull something out, secure it, do it.  You don’t want to wait until the last minute,” he warned. 

Ted Scouten

Multiple Emmy award winning journalist Ted Scouten has been the familiar face at the scene of international stories that have affected South Florida since 1998.