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FREAK Miami Storm Last Friday - Video

June 09, 2009 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Local News  | 5 Comments


For those who missed it, we had a little unannounced weather event here in Miami Beach on Friday. Usually, when the skies decide to open up to the point where you can’t see two feet in front of your car and palm trees start looking like they’re going to snap, we get a little advance warning.  But not this time.

This time, South Beach went from looking like it usually does on a normal, overcast day, to resembling some sort of disaster area in the span of about 20 minutes. And what happened after the streets were flooded and countless apartments and businesses had been ruined? It just kept going.


For my part, I left our offices on 5th and Lenox right as the rain decided to stat coming down. I drove north on Alton Road about 5 blocks and all of a sudden it sounded like someone was throwing rocks at my car. This couldn’t be hail, I thought, it has to be COLD for it to hail? Doesn’t it? Having just experienced my first freezing rain a few months prior, I must have confused the two. Because no sooner had I finished texting my friend in New York that for once, they won the weather war, when large pellets of hail began bouncing off the hood of my Saturn.


Cars just more or less stopped driving, or, at the very best waited for the inexplicable momentary breaks between sheets of water to proceed forward. It took me 20 minutes to go 10 blocks, and even then I had no idea where I was. I ended up getting on the Julia Tuttle Causeway without even knowing it, as I could not see more than a few feet in front of my car. Fortunately, the causeway was not flooded.


If you’ve been here on vacation, and cannot imagine what this place would look like in an unbearable storm, I have provided some video for you here. This first one was taken about 25 minutes after the rain started ,and as you can see it has almost halfway-submerged this car parked on Washington Avenue. That much rain in 25 MINUTES! You get the idea.

This second one I especially enjoy because it shows an SUV in South Beach actually performing the function of an SUV. That is, getting through extreme weather. Why do I think the thought process behind the purchase did not involve navigating Washington Avenue during a freak hailstorm?

Here’s a taxi caught in the storm. I love nothing better than seeing a distressed taxi driver.

Lastly, here is 5th Street looking west after the storm. Do you even recognize it? Looks more like some a-holes decided to park in the middle of a beautiful tropical lake.

Seriously, folks, this was the most insane weather I’ve seen that did not have a name attached to it. But if you want to know what summer weather can be like here, take a look at these videos. I’m not saying it’s like this ever day, or even every year. But in Miami, anything is possible.

Video from Lauren Tow, Miami Fl.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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5 Comments on

"FREAK Miami Storm Last Friday - Video"

rainedingal says:

I don’t understand why it happened without warning. What were all the weather forcasters doing?

Posted on 06/09/2009 at 8:54 PM

Christian says:

How was Ocean Drive? Did the water poor out in the sand or was OD flooded as well?

Posted on 06/18/2009 at 8:14 AM

Gus says:

rainedingal, great question.

Christian, most of the flooding accrued on the west side of the island, near Alton Road. I think Ocean Drive faired out ok, during the freak storm.

Carlos Miller contacted City Hall to inquire about the drainage system. Stay tuned.

Posted on 06/18/2009 at 8:22 AM

Christian says:

I see. Has there ever been a flooding of Ocean Drive in the past?

Posted on 06/20/2009 at 7:32 PM

Gus says:

In my 18 years in Miami, Ocean Drive has never flooded, but check out these pictures of Ocean Drive taken after 1926 Hurricane:

The water looks about 7 feet deep.

Why are you concerned about Ocean Drive flooding? Are you planning to open a business?

In Miami, two things every smart business owner has on hand during hurricane season is, sandbags and plywood for boarding up the windows.

Posted on 06/21/2009 at 8:18 AM

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