Cities in South Florida mopped up after Tropical Storm Eta flooded some urban areas with a deluge that swamped entire neighborhoods and filled some homes with rising water that did not drain for hours.
It was the 28th named storm in a busy hurricane season, and the first to make landfall in Florida. This year tied the record with 2005, when Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma struck the Gulf Coast. But that was before Theta formed late Monday night over the northeast Atlantic, becoming the basin’s 29th named storm to eclipse the 2005 record.
After striking Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane and killing nearly 70 people from Mexico to Panama, Eta swept over South Florida, then moved Monday into the Gulf of Mexico near where the Everglades meet the sea, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.
Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, was among the harder hit areas.
“It’s very bad. In the last 20 years, I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Tito Carvalho, who owns a car stereo business in Fort Lauderdale and estimated the water was 3 feet deep in some places. Some items in his business were damaged from the flooding, he added.