So Flo Floods is a film very close to our hearts as both of the producers grew up in Miami. But in the making of the film we realized that South Florida (So Flo) is much bigger than just Miami—it stretches from Naples on the west coast of Florida to localities as far north as Palm Beach and Stuart. It includes both South Beach’s Art Deco hotels and South Florida’s ubiquitous suburban sprawl. It includes beautiful beaches and the Everglades’ wilderness. The risk to the entire area is absolute and the interest is international.
In researching South Florida’s current situation, we were intrigued about the past since we knew that much of South Florida is drained Everglades. So, we thought: what about past floods?
It turns out that there have been many disastrous floods from when hurricanes hit in 1926, 1928, and 1935, among others. New models show that if Hurricane Andrew were to hit with an additional few feet of sea level rise from 1992 levels, flooding would reach the western suburbs. If it hit downtown today as the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 did, it would potentially be a $150 billion event.
Our research led us to Belle Glade, where we found a treasure trove of information about the Lake Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928—the second worst catastrophe ever to hit the United States with approximately 3,000 deaths. We include in the film an interview with Robert Mykle, author of Killer ‘Cane, for additional details about what happened “when the lake became an ocean.” We also incorporate a brief animation to go with eye witness accounts—a bit of a warning for those that think it can’t happen in South Florida
This film is not about sea level rise per se—it is about flooding. It is an ongoing battle to keep the water back both from the sea and from the Everglades. Those that live in South Florida are engaged in a relentless fight. We always have been—and we always will be.
So Flo Floods is a potentially important film; the few that have seen it say so, especially to those whose lives are so intertwined with the projected flooding. We surveyed those that have seen the film and the response is enthusiastic. It is the film’s hope to entertain and educate so that people can prepare, and, if necessary, leave behind a less polluted landscape.
We hope the worst of the projected outcomes never happen, but geological records have shown that Florida has experienced many different coastlines over the eons, so there is no reason to think we are not in a period of dynamic sea levels now. The most recent science shows this to be true—and overwhelmingly so. Governmental authorities like FEMA agree.
What most all who view the film agree, is that those in South Florida need to see it.