Sept. 13, 2017

SFWMD Moving Additional Pumps to Hardest Hit Areas, Taking Actions to Help Communities Recover from Hurricane Irma
District providing flood protection across
South Florida after Hurricane Irma
Click on the image to watch video of an SFWMD aerial reconnaissance flight over the Big Cypress Basin in Collier County.

West Palm Beach, FL  - The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) today continued its response to mitigate the impacts of Hurricane Irma by working to drain flood waters from communities throughout all 16 counties of South Florida.
SFWMD crews are removing three 42-inch temporary pumps previously installed next to the S-39 structure in Palm Beach County to Collier County, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Irma. The pumps will assist in lowering canal levels in the Big Cypress Basin (BCB) where canals are flowing at maximum capacity to move water away from communities and out to tide. The pumps will increase the District's capacity to move flood water out to tide.
The District is also working with Orlando International Airport to increase the amount of water the airport can discharge from its property to nearby Boggy Creek to lower floodwaters faster. District officials have determined airport discharges can be increased without negatively impacting the Boggy Creek area.
Other actions being taken by the District in response to Hurricane Irma include:
  • Keeping the SFWMD Emergency Operations Center open and at full activation level as the response efforts continue.
  • Continuing to discharge water to tide through all coastal structures at the maximum allowable rates. Most canals on the east coast are receding to normal levels.
  • Using the S-2 and S-3 structures to pump floodwaters into Lake Okeechobee and away from communities and businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma in the Glades region south of Lake Okeechobee.
  • Completing aerial inspections of flood control structures throughout the system. No levee breaches have been identified.
  • Deploying contractors to remove debris throughout the District, especially in the hardest hit areas of Collier, Miami-Dade and Broward counties, that could block canals and impede the ability to move floodwaters away from families and businesses.
  • Working with Florida Power and Light to restore commercial power to all structures in the system.
  • Aerial inspections of the Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) and other facilities necessary for maintaining the water quality of the Everglades are now complete.
  • Coordinating with local drainage districts to help alleviate localized flooding throughout South Florida.
  • Working to restore power and communications to the Big Cypress Basin Field Station in Naples.
  • Providing modeling and analysis to Lee and Hendry counties for several tributaries, such as the Orange River in Fort Myers, which flow into the Caloosahatchee River and that are expected to crest and recede as a result of the storm.
For more updates on SFWMD's Hurricane Irma response:
Media Contact: 
Randy Smith |    |  Cell: (561)-682-6197 | 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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