Residents along Florida's Treasure Coast got caught in what is being called "torrential" rainfall over the weekend, which caused widespread flooding in low-lying areas. Many residents were still without power on Monday as the Florida Power and Light Co. struggled to take care of downed lines.
Vero Beach managed to set a rainfall record on Saturday. The town recorded an accumulation of 7.05 inches in a few hours. The area got more rain on Sunday, though not quite as much. It was enough, however, to keep some areas of the city flooded on Monday, making cleanup and recovery efforts difficult.
What is the Treasure Coast?
Florida's Treasure Coast is made up of three counties that lie along the ocean -- St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River. It includes the towns of Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach, among others. Palm Beach County, while not a part of the Treasure Coast, is often included in reports concerning the other three counties. Treasure Coast was so named because of the legend of the Spanish galleons that supposedly shipwrecked there more than 3 centuries ago, spilling tons of gold and silver into the ocean.
What was the storm like that hit the Treasure Coast?
Fast. The rain that accumulated in Vero Beach fell within a six-hour period. The rain was too much for the town's drainage systems to handle. The previous rainfall record in Vero Beach was 3.99 inches in 1953.
Vero Beach is part of Indian River County, which was by far the hardest-hit area of the Treasure Coast. Overall, the county experienced rainfall estimated at 8 to 10 inches. While it is not unusual for the Treasure Coast to have rain and some mild flooding due to hurricane activity, rainfall like that experienced this weekend is rare, particularly in the record-setting amounts seen on Saturday.
What are the reports about fish swimming in the streets?
In Vero Beach, residents reported seeing catfish, albeit small ones, swimming in low-lying streets that had been overcome by floodwaters. The rainfall had caused a nearby creek and pond to overflow its banks, spreading the fish out into the neighborhood. The fish were able to swim along parts of U.S. 1, prompting residents to try and catch them.