1000 Year Storm Shuts Down Fort Lauderdale Airport, Traps Passengers

Airplanes fly in the air, but flooding on the ground prevents them from taking off and landing. And when it reaches what some would call biblical proportions, passengers are advised not to enter or exit the terminal. It’s not like most can physically do so anyway, as those at the Fort Lauderdale airport learned on Wednesday evening.

Fort Lauderdale airport received roughly double its previous record of rain in a single day, set in 1979 when 14.59 inches fell. (Some parts of the city received ‘only’ 15-20 inches.) While on average Fort Lauderdale receives 3 inches of rain in April, the airport surpassed its rainfall record for an entire month of April yesterday. This was statistically a 1-in-1000 year storm. The airport is closed until at least Noon on Thursday.

Runways at the airport were covered in almost a foot of rain, grounding aircraft:

While entrances and exits to the airport were merely backed up and flooded, parking garages were impassible. Eventually the roads were closed as well.

Sometime around 1 a.m. Eastern the airport’s departures roadway reopened to allow people to come pick up stranded passengers who had been stuck inside the terminal.

While the airport will re-open, recovery from damage for the airport and for passengers will be expensive and time-consuming.

West Palm Beach to the North and Miami airport to the south escaped storms nearly this significant. To them, it rained a lot.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Wonder if ron will demand the president pay 100% for the damage like sara said for the tornadoes in arkansas! But they keep saying trump is the president tho and we all know he wont pay.

  2. A taste of South Florida’s future for sure and frankly, couldn’t care less.

  3. Hoping the entire state falls off into the Atlantic Ocean – with Fidel DeSanctimonious going face in first!!

  4. I don’t know how this happened, your governor keeps telling everyone that global warming is hoax.

  5. Here’s my field report:
    All Spirit FLL flights rerouted to Miami. After we landed waited 1.5 hrs on the ground until they let us deplane and go thru customs. Then wait 1.5hrs in line to have Spirit tell me they can’t fly me to my destination (Chicago) until two days later. No hotel voucher, $21 food voucher and $50 flight credit.

    Decided to eat ticket and fly AA next day.

  6. I can tell you that it was a storm unlike any that I recall experiencing. I live on Hollywood Beach just south of the Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood Intl Airport and it was a full day of a constant downpour. I have a rather large pool in my backyard (37,000 gallons) and as much as I tried, I could not pump the water out fast enough and for the first time ever, it overflowed. Water on the street rose up from A1A (Ocean Drive) towards the beach by about 80 percent. 20% more and it would have been flowing into the ocean. No hurricane has ever filled our pool as fast as this storm did.

  7. Also spirit phone and online support completely collapsed.

    As a Spirit Gold member there is supposed to be a dedicated guest line. But could not find the number online nor did spirit employees at the airport know the number or it’s actual existence.

    Anyone anywhere know of the Gold dedicated number?

  8. I live in downtown FLL and I am here to say this is a hot mess. There are cars strewn all over the road what were left abandoned yesterday when they were flooded out. The tunnel on US 1 going under the New River is still pumping out water and is closed. The runways at FLL were under 2 feet of water yesterday. We also has 2 tornadoes.

    I’ve never seen anything like this and I’ve been through several hurricanes.

  9. Likely (though a single event doesn’t by itself prove anything) part of the trend towards climate change, with more severe swings in the weather and a trend towards conditions that are worse for human activities. The lies of the oil companies and their paid shills in government won’t be able to stop this evidence from coming out either. The big companies were studying (and burying data) on this half a century ago, and we lost all that time in preparation and mitigation. Pretty soon the “1000 year event” will be closing in on being the new normal, and watch what happens to travel, prices, and everything else.

  10. Living 10 miles north and west of the airport. We got 4inches of rain for the day. 25 inches of rain in less than 24hours is alot but Fort Lauderdale will easily flood with anything more than 2 inches per hour. The city cannot upgrade the sewage system. It’s been a problem for over 20+ years. It’s why people keep moving to the suburbs with better sewage systems

  11. Florida’s have voted for de satisfaction and conservative legislators. Its a big tourist destination not sure id tourist with Florida weather or social attitude

  12. I love it, we get some rain and the “climate change” advocates are out spewing more fallacies. Reminds me of another great hoax, the CovidCon.

  13. Did Puss-n-Boots Ron DeSanctimonius put on his giant white boots from his prior photo op and head to Fort Lauderdale? No he didn’t. Chances are Gran’pa D’ump will get there prior to Ron for a photo op!

Comments are closed.