St. Johns River Water Management District News Release
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News Release
Ed Garland:(321) 676-6612 (Office) or (321) 863-0055 (Cell)

District website offers hurricane season preparation tips, storm contacts, flood information

PALM BAY, Fla., May 30, 2017 -- The St. Johns River Water Management District's website can help you prepare for the 2017 hurricane season, which begins June 1. "The time to prepare for hurricane season is now. Part of that preparation is knowing about resources available when your area is impacted by flooding," said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. "The district has 40 years of experience in responding to severe storms and hurricanes and providing assistance to local communities as we did following Hurricane Matthew in October. This year will be no different."

The district's flooding and hurricane information page provides quick access to flooding information and other resources that can help before, during and after severe storms. Here, you find 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 floods. When hurricanes and other storms bring high volumes of rain in short periods of time, flooding can result. Partnerships between the public and government entities are necessary to minimize flooding impacts, protect personal property and assist flood victims during and after storms.

The district works closely with local governments year-round to develop improved flood management plans and to help communities establish and implement strategies to deal with floods once they occur. 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.

It's been a dry winter and spring, but there is an upside to low water levels throughout the district's 18-county region.

"The one positive of this dry weather is that we have plenty of water storage capacity in the Upper St. Johns River Basin and Ocklawaha River Basin if we do get hit by a rainmaker," Shortelle noted.

To prepare for hurricane season, which officially runs through Nov. 30, property owners can protect themselves and their property 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
  • Building up the ground around the home to promote drainage away from the foundation
  • Obtaining flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program