District lowering canal levels and taking action to protect residents and wildlife from flooding
West Palm Beach, FL – As Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency across Florida counties with Tropical Storm Emily passing over the state, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is executing operational measures today to provide flood protection for South Florida’s 8.1 million residents as rains from Tropical Storm Emily (TS Emily) fall throughout the region over this week.
“We have been preparing for this rainfall while continuing to respond to the impact of heavy rains in June,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Dan O’Keefe. “Our system is ready, and we will do everything in our power to move water and protect communities from flooding. We urge all residents to make sure their own properties are free of obstructions that would block water from drains and swales.”
Approximately 2-4 inches of rain is forecasted to fall throughout Southwest Florida over the next 24 hours as Emily moves ashore. More than an inch of rain is forecasted for areas north of Lake Okeechobee and the Lower East Coast region. Earlier today, Gov. Scott declared a state of emergency across 31 Florida counties, including all 16 counties served by SFWMD, and activated the Florida National Guard to assist with any storm-related impacts across the region.
North of Lake Okeechobee, SFWMD has increased the flow of water to the Kissimmee River to moderate flows along the river as the storm passes.
SFWMD will increase pumping in Palm Beach County as needed while several structures are already pumping around the clock to move as much water as possible through the flood control system. The A-1 Flow Equalization Basin (FEB) in Palm Beach County has been lowered in order to create capacity to store water from the storm and continue to prevent adding to already high water levels in the Water Conservation Areas. In addition, the L-8 Flow Equalization Basin is being pressed into service to store water from TS Emily.
Discharges to tide and to the South Dade Conveyance System are at maximum allowable levels given downstream conditions from the Water Conservation Areas in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, where heavy June rainfalls have created a high water emergency in the conservation areas – a continuing water management challenge.