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Miami's mayor says Tuesday's floods 'making the case' for $400 million bond


(Picture posted on Twitter Tuesday afternoon by Eileen Higgins.)


The flash floods that inundated coastal Miami-Dade Tuesday afternoon proved a major inconvenience for thousands across Miami and Miami Beach trying to get home from work. But for Miami's mayor, the timing couldn't have been better.

Fresh off last week's victory, when the Miami City Commission agreed to ask voters in November to authorize $400 million in public projects -- nearly half of which would pay for new pumps and storm water systems amid estimates that sea-rise will cost Miami $1 billion over the coming decades -- Tomas Regalado's campaign just got a little easier.

"We think that this makes the case for -- not sea-level rise in 50 years, or two more feet of bay water -- this is happening. It's local flooding and we have to address the storm sewers and the drainage of the city," Regalado told the Herald. "This little storm is making the case for flood mitigation."

Regalado said Public Works employees are going around the city, documenting flooding. Downtown and the Omni reported flooding. In Little Havana, he said, two private ambulances transporting patients were caught in flash floods.

"They're trying to get the patients out," he said.

Regalado's "Miami Forever" bond initiative includes $100 million for affordable housing, and about the same amount to fund improvements to parks and cultural facilities and various other projects. But the signature item in the bond referendum is money to address the slow-growing complications of climate change.

The city, under state law, can't campaign for the referendum but can educate voters on the item. Miami should expect to see some images from Tuesday resurfacing over the coming months.


"This is the poster child for flooding in the city of Miami," Regalado said.