South Florida was hit with heavy rain and gusty winds on Saturday as a storm system flooded streets, blocked cars and threatened to develop into a tropical storm after moving across land.
The storm system, dubbed Potential Tropical Cyclone One by the National Hurricane Center, would be named Alex if it became a tropical storm.
The National Hurricane Center warned of continued flooding in South Florida cities through Saturday night.
The Florida Keys and the northwestern Bahamas also saw heavy rain on Saturday. Tropical storm conditions were forecast for Saturday in Florida and the northwestern Bahamas in the afternoon.
The center is also forecasting maximum sustained winds of 40 mph with stronger gusts and rainfall around 6 to 10 inches in South Florida with isolated highs of 15 inches..
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By early Saturday afternoon, between 7 and 13 inches had already fallen in Miami, according to the National Weather Service of Miami.
“After nearly a foot of rain, a very dangerous situation unfolded with cars submerged and stuck underwater” in South Florida, according to AccuWeather.
Miami has already experienced flash flooding on Saturday morning as fire crews responded to multiple reports of cars stuck in floodwaters and advised residents to stay off the roads.
The city of Miami also posted videos on Twitter flooded streets and blocked cars, warning of ‘extremely dangerous’ road conditions and calling for a storm “a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation.”
“Stay home and don’t walk or drive on flooded roads,” the tweet said. “Do not try to recover stuck vehicles.”
As South Florida canal levels were lowered to minimize flooding, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said most government services, including buses and trains, were planning to operate normally over the weekend.
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On Saturday afternoon, the storm system was located 15 miles south-southwest of Fort Pierce, Fla., and was moving northeast at 18 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was expected to move over southern and central Florida on Saturday before turning east on Sunday.
The storm system, known as Hurricane Agatha as it crossed the Pacific Ocean, slammed into southern Florida after hitting Cuba, where it killed three people, damaged dozens of homes, caused landslides and power cuts in some areas.
The storm also caused flooding and mudslides in Mexico, leaving nearly a dozen dead and 20 missing.
It is expected to become a tropical storm off the east coast of Florida on Saturday evening before strengthening and moving away from the state and western Atlantic early next week.
Contributor: Claire Thornton, USA TODAY
Contribute: The Associated Press
Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.