Sept. 3, 2019

SFWMD's Latest Operational Update
 SFWMD EOC remains fully activated as effects of Hurricane Dorian impact several counties within the District

Click on the image to watch today's Hurricane Dorian update.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -  South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Executive Director Drew Bartlett provided a Hurricane Dorian update on Facebook live at 4:30 p.m. today. Click here to watch Director Bartlett's update.

The South Florida Water Management District Emergency Operations Center remains fully activated to manage the impacts from Hurricane Dorian. The latest Operational Update since full activation is available below.


  • Water managers are starting the process of returning the system to normal operation as the overall flood control system is stable with no major issues.
  • Along the east coast, the transition will be gradual due to king tides.
  • SFWMD-managed navigation locks open tomorrow at 9 a.m.
  • The Central and Southern Florida Flood Control System remains fully prepared for any potential continued rainfall. 
  • District staff throughout 16-county District area are ready to respond to any issues that may arise.
  • Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains fully activated.
  • Public urged to monitor their local county EOC for important storm information.
  • SFWMD-managed lands remain closed.

  • All SFWMD-managed navigation locks will reopen tomorrow (Wednesday, September 4, 2019) at 9 a.m.
  • The EOC remains in full activation and will continue to monitor all parts of the District.
  • Many of the District's 2,000 miles of canals have been lowered over the past week to allow capacity to receive excess water from communities via the local drainage districts.
  • Field Station staff are continuing to work around-the-clock at pump stations from Broward County north. Crews were dispatched in Broward, Hendry and Miami-Dade counties to provide an assessment of any damage that may have occurred due to the storm. Additional assessments will be made as conditions allow.
  • No water conservation areas (WCAs) are discharging water east at this time.
  • With the passing of the storm, water managers have increased the flow of water from WCA 3A south into Everglades National Park. This allows more water to flow south under the newly constructed Tamiami Trail bridges.
  • All SFWMD-managed lands are closed to public access at this time. The District anticipates reopening SFWMD-managed lands later this week.


Hurricane Dorian is located about 100 miles to the east of Vero Beach, Florida, now with lower peak winds of around 115 mph. The hurricane has commenced a slow north-northwestward motion, and this general movement with some increase of forward speed is expected during the next day or so. The north-northwest motion is keeping the center of Dorian a safe distance offshore the east-central coast of Florida as Dorian makes its closest approach to the District this afternoon.

While occasional moderate or heavy rains in bands are possible across the District late today through early Thursday and tropical-storm-force gusts near the upper east coast, rains and winds should abate from south to north by early in the day on Thursday. Read the latest Hurricane Dorian update from SFWMD Meteorologists here (updated several times a day).

  • Lake Okeechobee is at 13.81 feet as of September 3, 2019.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is making local basin discharges at the S-79 structure on the Caloosahatchee River and S-80 on the St. Lucie River. This is local basin runoff from rainfall and is not from Lake Okeechobee. 
  • With no additional significant rainfall, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake may rise one foot by late September.
  • The District is evaluating opportunities to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with managing lake levels and has begun moving lake water south to the A1 FEB.
  • All District offices will be open starting Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

The public are urged to continue monitoring updates from their county's EOC and local news sources for information on schools, shelters, etc.


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 primary and secondary drainage systems that move flood waters away from homes and neighborhoods. During storms, it's normal to see water flowing on streets and for lakes to rise. Residents throughout South Florida can find what local agency to contact about flooding concerns based on their address by visiting

Video materials available for broadcast:
Media Contact: 
Randy Smith  |    |  Office: 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 safeguard and restore South Florida's water resources and ecosystems, protect our communities from flooding, and meet the region's water needs while connecting with the public and stakeholders.
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