June 2017
Ask Yourself, Are You Ready?
LWDD and residents both play an important role in hurricane readiness
Florida's hurricane season begins on June 1st and ends November 30th. Based on historical weather records dating back to the 1950s, a typical season will average 12 tropical storms with sustained winds of at least 39 miles per hour, of which 6 may turn into hurricanes with winds of 74 miles per hour or more. In addition to high winds, hurricanes and tropical storms can bring torrential rainfall. These severe storms can produce localized flooding of streets, sidewalks, driveways and lawns. This localized flooding can be exacerbated by improperly maintained drainage systems.  
 
While weather predictions are becoming more sophisticated, forecasters are still unable to accurately predict where a storm will make landfall. The likelihood of flooding depends on several variables such as rainfall volume, ground moisture and local terrain. The Lake Worth Drainage District  works closely with the South Florida Water Management District and Palm Beach County Emergency Management to manage flooding during severe weather events. However, property owners and residential communities also have a responsibility in hurricane preparation and flood control.
Before The Storm
Preparing for the storm can help prevent potential flooding
The most important steps a community can take to 
prepare for severe storm events is regular inspection and maintenance of its drainage infrastructure. Community drainage systems and infrastructure 
can include inlets, discharge control structures, connecting pipes and lakes. Proper maintenance of these drainage systems ensures unobstructed flow of stormwater and fully operational equipment. I nspection and maintenance of the drainage system is the sole responsibility of the community. However, District staff are available to assist with any questions. On-site visits can also be arranged to discuss the drainage system in detail. 
 
Community flood preparedness includes: 
  • Identifying the location of discharge control structures, inlets and other drainage infrastructure
  • Inspecting the system, clearing blockages and making needed repairs
  • Testing operable discharge control structures by opening and closing the wheel mechanism 
  • Staying informed. Review the District's video, "Getting to Know Your Drainage System" at https://youtu.be/K7_6O1y6bl4
The District recommends that each community establish a Drainage Committee whose role is to provide for the maintenance and operation of the drainage system. Drainage Committees may consist of board members, residents and/or property managers. All members of the Drainage Committee should register with the District. This registration process ensures the District knows who to contact and where to send important weather alerts and instructions. You can register through our website at http://www.lwdd.net/property-managers-hoa.
During The Storm 
Potential flooding, what to expect during the storm 
Depending on the volume and duration of rainfall, it is expected that community streets, sidewalks , driveways and lawns may temporarily flood. These areas are designed to act as secondary detention areas. This flooding is temporary and will begin to recede after an event has passed.
 
Listen to and follow emergency management instructions via the television or radio and take appropriate actions to keep yourself, family and property safe. In most circumstances, emergency 
personnel will not be deployed during a severe weather event. District personnel will be monitoring weather conditions, canal elevations and coordinating efforts with other emergency agencies. Appropriate 
measures will be taken to provide flood relief.

Flood control does not mean flood proof. No system, no matter how well designed, is 100% flood proof.  If flood water is nearing your home, contact the District's storm line at 561-498-5363, and press Option 2 to speak to on-call staff or to leave a message. District staff will be dispatched as soon as it is safe to deploy crews. Always call 911 for life-threatening flooding emergencies. 
After The Storm
Staying safe after the storm has passed
Stay indoors during the storm. Do not attempt to walk in flooded areas. Flood water may be unsanitary and there may be downed power lines or other hazards that are not visible. Also, do not attempt to drive through flooded areas. Vehicles can become unstable and float in as little as a few inches of water.
Canal banks may fail and roadways may be affected by sinkholes. The location of roads and sidewalks may not be discernible from canals and lakes. To learn more about the hazards of driving through flooded areas, click here  to watch the U.S. National Weather Services Turn Around Don't Drown public service announcement.

If flooding is severe and roads are impassable, communities may request to open their operable discharge control structures to increase the rate of stormwater discharge. Authorization from the District to open structures is mandatory and is only granted for emergency situations and when District canals are at low enough elevations to accept the increased discharge from neighborhood systems. Opening an operable discharge control structure without authorization may put a community in jeopardy as canal water may back-flow into the community's lakes.  Click here to view the procedures for requesting authorization to open an operable discharge control structures.
H2O Fun Fact
The word hurricane comes from the Taino Native American word, 'hurucane ', meaning evil spirit of the wind.
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Contact Us
Lake Worth Drainage District
13081 S. Military Trail
Delray Beach, FL 33484
Phone: (561) 498-5363
Fax: (561) 495-9694
Email: info@lwdd.net
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