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City of Miami to work on fixing drainage problems that led to flooding in parts of Miami

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MIAMI (WSVN) – Drivers in the Wynwood, Downtown and Brickell area are probably better off in a boat after a heavy rains resulted in flooding, Tuesday.

It may start as a drizzle, but when it pours, it floods in Miami.

“I couldn’t even get out because the door’s were stuck,” said an Uber driver.

And this isn’t a one-off deal.

“Our community can’t access our synagogue, all the time, because of the water,” said a man.

“We’ve already identified that we have some areas that need upgrades,” said Juvenal Santana, City of Miami’s Director of Public Works.

Santana said the City of Miami has a drainage problem with no easy fix.

“When you’re close to the water, and you’re in low-lying areas, there’s only so much that can be done,” said Santana.

That’s bad news for Brickell Dental Care. Practice Manager Jonathan Chiscul said he’s seen drivers stranded and people injured from the front desk.

“She fell inside. Her whole body went inside the water,” said Chiscul.

He was stuck at work for three hours after closing time to deal with flooding in the dental office.

“The water from yesterday was actually raising up to here,” said Chiscul. “The water came all the way to the back, and if you see over here, we have expensive equipment.”

In the three months since they’ve opened shop here, they’ve learned to stay prepared.

“We have to have the sandbags ready,” said Chiscul. “I expect a little bit more for the Brickell area.”

Santana said the city is working to meet those expectations. It recently secured funding for its storm water master plan.

The multimillion dollar project will upgrade old drainage systems, add new pump stations in Edgewater, Wynwood and Brickell and better connect the ones already in place so water drains faster.

“There was a new drainage pump system that was put in place and is active,” said Chiscul. “We are now building the infrastructure that’s going to connect to that station.”

Until the project’s complete, Santana said, “So if you know that you’re in an area that’s prone to flooding, is if you got a car that’s going to be parked on the street, park that car a few blocks away.”

Public Works officials expect to have those high priority projects underway this year. They hope to have that third pump station in Brickell completed by the end of the year.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Fired Former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo Files Lawsuit Against City, Commissioners, City Manager

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Three months after he was fired, former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo is taking legal action against the City of Miami.

On Wednesday, Acevedo filed a 50-page lawsuit claiming the city manager and three commissioners violated his First Amendment rights.

READ MORE: London-Bound American Airlines Flight Returned To MIA After Passenger Refused To Wear A Mask

Acevedo claims they illegally retaliated against him for blowing the whistle on, what he describes as, a toxic stew of corruption and wrongdoing at city hall.

That includes City Manager Art Noriega and Commissioners Joe Carollo, Alex Díaz de la Portilla, and Manolo Reyes.

The complaint details several examples of alleged illegal and unethical activity by commissioners, saying they attempted to “weaponize” Miami police officers against their enemies.

WATCH: Deborah Souverains Report On Art Acevedo’s Lawsuit

Acevedo said his firing after only being on the job six months was retribution for trying to maintain his independence as police chief.

It claims those commissioners “targeted Chief Acevedo because of his resistance to their efforts to use the MPD to carry out their personal agendas and vendettas, his reform efforts, and his speaking out against corruption and abuse of power by the City of Miami Commission.”

The new lawsuit alleges Commissioner Carollo demanded Acevedo investigate multiple businesses of his political opponent on allegations Acevedo says were unfounded

It also claims the commissioners interfered in an investigation into a Miami Sergeant-at-Arms, accused of a security breach.

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The lawsuit further says commissioners pushed back against Acevedo’s efforts to combat excessive use of force and their alleged cover-ups.

The suit cites a specific instance where “a woman in police custody spit on an officer, the officer punched her in the face and drove her to the ground, causing her to lose consciousness.”

Back in September and October, Acevedo was the subject of criticism in a series of fiery commission meetings.  The concerns raised included a comment Acevedo made about the department being run by the “Cuban mafia,” his demoting of several police officers, and a Fraternal Order of Police survey which found 79% of those polled did not have confidence in Acevedo’s ability to run the department.

Commissioner Carollo even went so far as to criticize the size of Acevedo’s pants when he performed as Elvis for a charity fundraiser and made comments about if he was “wearing a jockstrap.”

Noriega released the following statement in response to the lawsuit:

“This was expected and I look forward to the opportunity to discredit these false claims made by the former Police Chief. It’s clearly an attempt to retaliate against the individuals that held him accountable for his own shortcomings as Miami Police Chief and to attempt to salvage his professional reputation by casting blame on others. I will leave it to our Law Department to address the complaint directly through the proper legal channels.”

Commissioner Manolo Reyes also issued a statement:

“It is extremely unfortunate that Mr. Acevedo has chosen to sue the city of Miami and its elected officials for his own shortcomings as a police chief. We look forward to handling this matter in court. More so, at no time did I give Mr. Acevedo a list of restaurants and bars to investigate. Nor did I give him any directive regarding an internal affairs investigation.

We will all have our day in court.”

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Commissioner Carollo could not be reached for comment.

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London-Bound American Airlines Flight Returned To MIA After Passenger Refused To Wear A Mask

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An American Airlines London bound flight from Miami was forced to turn around Wednesday night after a passenger refused to wear a mask.

Flight 38 was about an hour and a half into its flight to Heathrow Airport when it circled back and returned to Miami International Airport.

READ MORE: Fired Former Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo Files Lawsuit Against City, Commissioners, City Manager

Police dispatch called for officers to meet the plane at Gate D14 because at least one passenger was not respecting the mask mandate. Once it landed, more than 100 passengers were informed they had to get off the plane.

Many on the plane had no idea why it returned to Miami.

“Disappointed. They wouldn’t really say anything and I don’t think they told the flight attendants anything because all they would say is there was an extreme incident and they had to turn around,” said one passenger.

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“They just told us to get off and the police were there,” said another passenger.

American Airlines issued a statement apologizing for the inconvenience.

“American Airlines flight 38 with service from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR) returned to MIA due to disruptive customer refusing to comply with the federal mask requirement. The flight landed at MIA where local law enforcement met the aircraft. We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”

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The flight was canceled as a result of the incident, leaving these flyers to seek alternate arrangements.

CBSMiami.com Team

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COVID-19 Testing Site Finder

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(Getty Images)

Miami-Dade County offers free testing for COVID-19 at drive-thru, walk-in and mobile sites.

CLICK HERE TO FIND A TESTING SITE NEAR YOU IN MIAMI-DADE.

Test site operations have expanded in Broward to meet increased demand.

CLICK HERE TO FIND A TESTING SITE NEAR YOU IN BROWARD.

In Monroe County, positive COVID-19 cases are significantly increasing as well.

CLICK HERE TO FIND A TESTING SITE NEAR YOU IN MONROE.

CBSMiami.com Team

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