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Water managers made adjustments to help mitigate rainfall from Hurricane Ian

Braun, Michael

In preparation for Hurricane Ian, water managers from South Florida Water Management District made pre-storm adjustments to operating levels for water control structures throughout the regional flood control system.

That information and more was part of an update Wednesday from South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Executive Director Drew Bartlett on the District’s continued response to Hurricane Ian.

Bartlett, speaking from the SFWMD’s Emergency Operations Center, said the District continues to operate the regional flood control system to move large amounts of water quickly and efficiently.

"Hurricane Ian is one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever impact Florida, and the storm is expected to continue to bring significant rainfall, storm surge, strong winds and tornadoes to the region," he said. "Rainfall from the storm is expected to result in a significant and rapid rise in canals, lakes, ponds and rivers throughout the District."

Bartlett said South Florida's interconnected water management system, and flood control in South Florida, is a shared responsibility between the SFWMD, county and city governments, local drainage districts, HOAs, and residents.

"It is normal to see lakes temporarily rise and water flowing through streets to drains. After significant rainfall, water in streets, swales, yards and low-lying areas is expected," he said.

Bartlett said residents who experience an increasing amount of water that is impacting their property should report the flooding to their local drainage district. To find out which entity is responsible for your local drainage system, visit SFWMD.gov/StormUpdate.

Safety Tips for Residents:

  • When conditions are safe, check neighborhood ditches and swales to ensure they are free of debris. 
  • Stay out of floodwaters even after storm conditions have passed.
  • Heed warnings and follow guidance from your County Emergency Operations Center and local governments.

SFWMD will continue to keep the public informed on its emergency operations and flood control efforts for Hurricane Ian. Continue to check SFWMD's Hurricane Ian webpage and follow SFWMD on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on our operations.

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