Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood airport to remain closed with Broward County under state of emergency

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday declared a state of emergency for Broward County because of severe flooding and rain. The order, in part, designated Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie to coordinate relief efforts and ordered activation of the Florida National Guard "as needed." 

A schedule released by DeSantis’ office indicated the governor had a phone call with Broward County Mayor Lamar Fisher shortly before announcing the emergency declaration. Earlier in the day, the governor’s office said the Division of Emergency Management had deployed staff members to help collect damage-assessment data in Broward County.

Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, which closed Wednesday evening, said it would not reopen until 9 a.m. Friday, "to accommodate final daylight inspections to determine the airfield's readiness.  Airlines were forced to cancel or change flights to and from the airport with many diverting flight to other Florida airports, including Orlando International Airport.

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FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA - APRIL 13: (L-R) Jose santos Garsia, Oilman Josue Lopez Flores , and Misael Vasquez Munguia relax as they wait to hear when they can continue their journey to North Carolina after the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was closed due to the flooded runways on April 13, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.   The heavy rain yesterday caused flooding as the region recorded rainfall totals of more than a foot.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Fort Lauderdale city leaders called the flooding they have been dealing with since Wednesday a historic, "1 in a 1,000-year" event.

"The amount of rainfall is unprecedented, with reports of more than 20 inches of rain in some areas," said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis.