Hurricane Season 2019

From the St. John’s River Water Management District

As Florida’s east coast prepares for potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian, the St. Johns River Water Management District reminds northeast and east-central Floridians to bookmark its storm webpages for easy access to flooding information and other resources that can help before, during and after severe storms.

The district’s webpage at www.sjrwmd.com/storm/ is one-stop shopping for information about the storm and water levels, including links to flood statements and warnings, river stage and flooding data, and local government emergency contacts. Also included are links to the National Weather Service, Florida Division of Emergency Management and the U.S. Geological Survey’s interactive map of current conditions in the state.

Florida’s many waterways and extensive coastline make the state especially vulnerable to flooding. When hurricanes and other storms bring high volumes of rain in short periods of time, flooding can result. Local governments are the primary entities responsible for emergency responses during storms, such as implementing state-of-emergency declarations, evacuations and rescue efforts during flood-related disasters.

In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, the district assists local governments by issuing emergency orders that allow for the pumping of water to alleviate flooding when public health and safety are at risk. The district also issues emergency orders to authorize repair, replacement or restoration of public and private property.

Here is a summary of the district’s current status of operations:

  • The district’s emergency operations team is closely monitoring the storm’s path and water levels in order to provide information to the public and be prepared to assist local government partners and other regional and state agencies as needed.
  • All district offices are closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. Depending on the storm’s impacts, further closures may be necessary and will be posted on the district’s website.
  • The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive will be closed this weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, to ensure public safety in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian. Other public land closures are likely and will be announced on the district’s website and through social media.
  • Ample water storage is available in Upper St. Johns River Basin and the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin.
  • Water will begin discharging today through the Harris Bayou Spillway and is expected to continue through the weekend.
  • Locks, spillways, pump stations, levees and canals in the headwaters of the St. Johns River in Brevard and Indian River counties and in the Harris Chain of Lakes in Lake County are the district’s only structural controls of water levels. All these water control structures are in very good shape operationally.

While the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project reduces flooding in much of the upper St. Johns, it does not reduce flooding in the river’s middle basin in east-central Florida, including lakes Monroe and Harney, nor further downstream in the river’s lower basin in north Florida.

St. Johns River Water Management District staff are committed to ensuring the sustainable use and protection of water resources for the benefit of the people of the district and the state of Florida. The St. Johns River Water Management District is one of five districts in Florida managing groundwater and surface water supplies in the state. The district encompasses all or part of 18 northeast and east-central Florida counties. District headquarters are in Palatka, and staff also are available to serve the public at service centers in Maitland, Jacksonville and Palm Bay.

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