Sept. 6, 2018

SFWMD Continues Actions to Move Water After 
Tropical Storm Gordon Impacts South Florida
Latest video update highlights continuing District efforts to lower water levels caused by record May rainfall and recent storms
 
Operations Update: Managing High Water, Sept. 6, 2018
Click on the image to watch SFWMD's latest weekly video update on water conditions and actions being taken to manage water levels.
 
West Palm Beach, FL - The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has been working around the clock for months to lower water levels in the water conservation areas to create capacity for sending additional Lake Okeechobee water south, all in an effort to alleviate South Florida's high water emergency caused by record May rainfall and recent storms such as Tropical Storm Gordon.
 
SFWMD Chief Engineer John Mitnik today gave the Water Resources Analysis Coalition an update on current water conditions and efforts to move water that can be seen as part of SFWMD's weekly video series. The video series was established to inform the public on current water conditions and the agency's actions amid the high water emergency. The video update can be seen by clicking HERE or visiting the District's website dedicated to the emergency situation at www.sfwmd.gov/managinghighwater.
 
In the video, Mitnik discussed current water conditions including rainfall for the month of August, which was about 21 percent, or 1.71 inches, below average. Mitnik also told the coalition how Tropical Storm Gordon dropped an average of 1.26 inches of rainfall across South Florida, with some areas in South Miami-Dade County, such as Homestead, receiving as much as 5 inches of rain.
 
The District coordinated with local drainage districts to help them prepare their systems for the storm. SFWMD also lowered canal levels in its regional flood control system in order to take stormwater from these local drainage districts and municipalities to protect families and properties from flooding. With several more weeks of the wet season and hurricane season, SFWMD will take similar steps to prepare the system for future storms.
 
Flood control in South Florida is a shared responsibility between the District, which operates the regional flood control system, and local drainage districts, municipalities and homeowners associations that operate the secondary and tertiary drainage systems that move flood waters away from homes and neighborhoods. Residents throughout South Florida can find what local agency to contact about flooding concerns based on their address by visiting the District's Flood Control website at  www.sfwmd.gov/floodcontrol . Residents can also watch an educational video about how the shared flood control system works by  clicking HERE .
 
Background
Record rainfall in May caused Lake Okeechobee to rise more than a foot, which led the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin releases from the lake on June 1 to the northern estuaries. At the same time, this record rainfall inundated the water conservation areas, causing them to rise considerably above their regulation schedules. To combat this, SFWMD has been taking every action within its authority to lower water levels, including storing water on public and private lands. Additionally, every available structure is being utilized and temporary pumps have been installed to move additional water.
 
Since May 14, SFWMD's actions have moved more than 57 billion gallons south from Lake Okeechobee and more than 233 billion gallons out of the water conservation areas either to tide or into Everglades National Park. These actions will help create capacity to move more water south and reduce the need for estuary releases.
 
As more measures are implemented, details will be available on the Managing High Water website.
 
Online channels to learn more about efforts to lower water levels
Media Contact: 
Randy Smith  |   rrsmith@sfwmd.gov    |  Office: 561-682-2800  |  Cell: 561-389-3386
The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that manages the water resources in the southern part of the state. It is the oldest and largest of the state's five water management districts. Our mission is to protect South Florida's water resources by balancing and improving flood control, water supply, water quality and natural systems.

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