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Hurricane Season 2022: Tropical Depression #9

District urges preparedness as forecast puts Florida in tropical depression's path


The St. Johns River Water Management District is closely monitoring Tropical Depression Nine and is preparing for potential heavy rainfall throughout the region. Due to the current forecast, which anticipates heavy rains beginning over the southern portion of the District on Tuesday, Sept. 27, Gov. Ron DeSantis has already issued an Executive Order for 24 counties, including several in the District.

The District is proactively preparing for the storm by taking the following actions:

  • The District’s emergency operations team is closely monitoring the storm’s path and water levels, so we can provide information to the public and be prepared to assist our local government partners and other regional and state agencies as needed.
  • In the Upper St. Johns River Basin and Upper Ocklawaha River Basin, the District manages a system of spillways, pump stations, levees, and canals. Using these structures, the District can adjust water levels for additional flood protection. 
    • Currently, the District has sufficient capacity to handle the current forecasted rainfall.. 
    • Pump station operators throughout the Upper Basin are ready to ensure continued operations throughout the storm.
  • Note that struc­tures such as 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.

It’s important to keep in mind there are limits to what the District systems and lands can manage. The water control structures can reduce the amount of water flowing north from the Upper St. Johns River Basin. However, large tributaries, such as the Econlockhatchee River, can contribute more water to the middle St. Johns River than the amount flowing from the headwaters. Downriver of the upper basin, there are no comparable water control structures and flood protection is provided by the non-structural floodplain wetlands.

Additionally, tides and storm surge from the ocean influence the middle and lower St. Johns River. Water levels in the northern reaches of the St. Johns can rise with little advance notice.

Property owners should act now to be prepared for the storm’s heavy rains by: 

  • Keeping debris out of storm drains and ditches,
  • Reporting clogged ditches to local governments,
  • Cleaning out gutters and extending downspouts at least four feet from structures.

Be sure to follow your county’s Emergency Operations Center for the latest local emergency updates. They serve as the primary entities responsible for emergency responses during storms including implementing state-of-emergency declarations, evacuations and rescue efforts during flood-related disasters. The District may assist local governments in their response and recovery efforts.

Visit the District’s website at www.sjrwmd.com/localgovernments/flooding/ for information and links to flood statements and warnings, river stages, and local government emergency contacts.

About the St. Johns River Water Management District

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 Apopka, Jacksonville and Palm Bay. 

Connect with us on Twitter at @SJRWMD, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. For more information about the District, please visit www.sjrwmd.com.


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