Miami residents swamped by flooding flee to Orlando by train in search of dry land

Tickets for the high-speed passenger train from Miami and Fort Lauderdale that stops in Orlando were nearly sold out this week. South Florida has received more than a foot of rain this week.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Miami residents unable to drive or fly out of South Florida are opting to take Florida's high-speed train to Orlando to find dry land after a tropical deluge dropped 2 feet of water onto the region. 

South Florida is facing catastrophic flooding from heavy rain, some of which was produced by tropical disturbance 90L, as it moved across Florida. Tropical rains have inundated major highways and roads and caused drivers to abandon their flooded vehicles. 

Storms have also delayed and canceled flights at Miami International Airport. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport experienced flooding at entrances and exits and delayed dozens of flights.

FOX 35 Orlando reported that passengers from South Florida have been arriving in droves on the Brightline train to Orlando International Airport since Wednesday.  

Tickets for the high-speed passenger train from Miami and Fort Lauderdale that stops in Orlando were nearly sold out Thursday. Brightline officials told FOX 35 tickets were selling at a rate they have not seen since travel to Orlando opened last year.

One passenger told FOX 35 she saw flooding and stranded cars as she took the train out of South Florida.

"I was happy to take the train because it got me out of the craziness," she said. 


More than 19 inches of rain was recorded in Aventura between Tuesday and Wednesday, with 15 inches falling on Wednesday alone. In some areas, including Hollywood, rainfall rates exceeded 5 inches per hour. 

Brightline has also faced delays because of the flooding in South Florida. The route includes five stops from West Palm Beach to Miami. On Wednesday, southbound trains could not go farther than Fort Lauderdale. Northbound trains from Miami and Aventura were also suspended.

Brightline trains between Miami and Fort Lauderdale were delayed Thursday because of flooding, but resumed normal operations later in the day. 

A state of emergency remains in effect for South Florida as heavy rain is forecast to continue into the weekend. 

An additional 10 inches of rain is possible Thursday in isolated areas, with between 4 and 8 inches expected across South Florida.