Guests at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida were forced to wade through ankle-high waters following flash flooding.
Footage from March 7 shows Disney visitors moving through flooded streets. One cast member told BBC Weather host Sara Thornton, who was at Disney World at the time, that “he’d never seen the likes [of this] in 17 years.”
Thornton also uploaded a video that showed the exit to the park, and some children can be seen playfully kicking the water. Nobody in Thornton’s clip seemed to be in any rush to leave.
Flash flooding @WaltDisneyWorld @DisneyParks Hollywood Studios this eve. One cast member said he’d never seen the like in 17 years… #florida #disney pic.twitter.com/AKL3TUz4ES— Sara Thornton (@SaraThornton1) March 8, 2022
In another video she posted on Twitter, this time from Hollywood Studios, guests were lying down in the water and splashing one another as passersby covered in rain ponchos filmed the aftermath of the thunderstorm.
And more footage from a very wet @WaltDisneyWorld @DisneyParks Hollywood Studios after a very intense band of t-storms moved through. #florida pic.twitter.com/I5pdZT0bWt— Sara Thornton (@SaraThornton1) March 8, 2022
According to the National Weather Service, the weather in Orlando, Fla., was somewhat unexpected. At about 8:52 p.m., thunderstorms and heavy rain struck the area.
TikTok user @pagingmrmorrow was at Disney at the time and recorded the downpour when it hit. He captioned the video, “The best day ever,” and it racked up almost 3 million views.
Another Twitter user, Ed Holmstrom, tweeted at a meteorologist for New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, saying, “Lake Buena Vista has the tri-state region beat tonight. We weren’t expecting 3 [inches] of rain while at Hollywood Studios.”
@nynjpaweather Lake Buena Vista has the tri-state region beat tonight. We weren’t expecting 3” of rain while at Hollywood Studios. pic.twitter.com/FBnNHh8msU— Ed Holmstrom (@ed_holmstrom) March 8, 2022
Toward the end of February, outlets expressed concern that parts of Central Florida had officially entered a drought. The U.S. Department of Agriculture highlighted several areas around Orlando that were “abnormally dry.” The drier-than-normal weather can lead to an increase in wildfire risk for the region.
So the unexpected thunderstorm was certainly welcomed by locals.
“Definitely welcomed rain for the region. We’ve really needed it,” said Fox 35 meteorologist Brook Garner. “The bottom line is we’re going to rinse and repeat the next few days because we’ve got hot weather on the way with the high around the 90s the next couple of days.”
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