SFWMD update for Heavy Rainfall expected from Tropical System
They are urging residents to know appropriate drainage authority to contact when reporting problems
District has already lowered canals with forecast predictions as high as four inches in some areas and after near record rainfall for the month
West Palm Beach, FL – The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has prepared the region’s massive flood control system to move water and protect residents from flooding as a result of the heavy rainfall forecast over the next five to seven days.
“Much of South Florida, including the regions that will see the heaviest rainfall over the Memorial Day weekend, have already experienced an above average amount of rainfall for the past few weeks,” said SFWMD Chief Engineer John Mitnik. “Our staff and our flood control system have been hard at work moving flood waters away from communities. The District will continue this work as the storm approaches and passes over South Florida.”
Local daily maximum rainfall totals are forecast to be as high as four inches per day from Friday until Wednesday in areas such as Fort Myers in Lee County and the Big Cypress Basin in Collier County. Coastal areas of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are forecast to see local maximum rainfall totals as high as three inches per day. Slightly less rainfall is projected for the Treasure Coast and Kissimmee River basins.
Due to the interconnected system of drainage canals in South Florida, flood control is a shared responsibility between the District, county and city governments, local drainage districts, homeowners associations and residents. As this storm system approaches, residents should familiarize themselves with how to contact their homeowners association, municipality or local drainage district responsible for their property’s drainage. A Local Contact Tool to help you determine the local drainage authority that represents your area can be found at SFWMD’s website by clicking here.
“If you find yourself in a potential flooding situation, make sure you notify the proper agency that controls the canal, retention pond or body of water affecting your residence,” continued Mitnik. “As water managers, we urge citizens to get in contact with their homeowners association, local drainage district or county in charge of their secondary water conveyance system. If you are on the regional system controlled by SFWMD, then notify us as well.”
As of Thursday, an average of 7.74 inches of rain had already fallen this month throughout South Florida, 281 percent of the monthly average rainfall or nearly 5 inches above average. The Southwest Coast, where the heaviest rainfall is forecast over this coming weekend, has already been saturated with 5.72 inches of rain, which is 3 inches above average.
SFWMD operates and maintains the regional water management system known as the Central and Southern Florida Project, which was authorized by Congress more than 60 years ago to protect residents and businesses from floods and droughts. This primary system, comprised of more than 2,100 miles of canals, 2,000 miles of levees and more than 600 water control structures, connects to community drainage districts and hundreds of smaller neighborhood systems to effectively manage floodwaters during heavy rain.