Afternoon downpour floods roads
Afternoon showers quickly filled Cape Coral’s streets with rain Wednesday, dumping more than 6 inches of water on some areas in just a two-hour span.
The rains left some roads flooded and some vehicles stuck as waters rose rapidly.
“We had a lot of rain in a very short period of time, leading to flooding in some streets and a few motorists stranded,” Fire Chief Bill Van Helden said.
Cape Coral public information officer Connie Barron said traffic was rerouted on some major roads and intersections as the rains stretched the capacity of the city’s stormwater drainage system.
“As good as our stormwater system is, no system is good enough to handle 6 inches of rain in a two-hour period,” she said.
By late afternoon the rains had begun to subside and emergency crews were clearing roads and extracting vehicles.
“The fire department’s been out assisting those motorists. We still have a few motorists out there that are stuck,” Van Helden said, adding that no reports of injuries or damage to homes have been received.
The heavy rains were the result of thunderstorms that parked over Cape Coral between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., according to reports.
“We had several thunderstorms that were nearly stationary over Cape Coral,” said Rick Davis, a forecaster for the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service issued an urban and small stream flood advisory at 1:56 p.m. for Cape Coral, warning that rain would fall at 2 inches per hour for two hours, causing localized flooding.
Some areas, especially in the north Cape, exceeded that rate, with some places getting more than 6 inches of rain, Davis said.
More storms are in the forecast in the coming days, but the thunderstorms should move more quickly through the city.
“There is a 40 (percent) to 50 percent chance of rain into the weekend. Then we’ll get into a more typical weather cycle,” Davis said.