When the flooding is really bad, water doesn’t just fill the streets outside Manolo Pedraza’s house. It bubbles up through a shower drain.
Pedraza lives in Shorecrest, a northern Miami neighborhood that faces flooding so regularly it happens even when it hasn’t rained. All it takes to fill the streets to knee-high depth on those days is a full moon. The flood comes up through storm drains, making it impossible to navigate without encountering the water, which is mixed with sewage and whatever else it picked up along the way.
During a visit to Pedraza’s neighborhood, I walk only where the water, likely filled with fecal bacteria, won’t rise above my waterproof boots. I’m lucky that day. Pools cover parts of the streets, but at least I can walk the area without soaking my feet.
“This is nothing,” Pedraza said in Spanish. “Sometimes it comes all the way up to the house.”