Flooding, hurricane information
Know who to contact
Water is a year-round focus for the water management district. When hurricanes and other storms bring unusually high amounts of rain in a short amount of time, flooding can result. It is a natural condition for our state, but a condition that can have serious implications for Florida’s residents. Partnerships between individuals and government entities are necessary to minimize flooding impacts, protect personal property and assist flood victims during and after storm events.
If you are experiencing flooding, your first contact should be your local government.
The district’s role
The district operates and maintains water control structures (such as locks, spillways, pump stations, levees and canals) in the headwaters of the St. Johns River in Brevard and Indian River counties, and in the Harris Chain of Lakes in Lake County. Those structures are the only controls the district has of water levels in the St. Johns and Ocklawaha rivers. The district also restores wetlands and floodplain areas that provide flood water storage. Through its permitting program, the district ensures that storm water is managed on development sites and that new drainage ditches or significant changes to existing ditches are coordinated regionally. The district and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issue permits to install stormwater systems, but it is often the responsibility of a developer or homeowners association to maintain the systems. In addition, the district assists local governments in emergency response during disasters.
Your local government’s role
Local governments are responsible for emergency responses during storms, land use planning, maintaining stormwater systems, implementing a master stormwater plan for solving flooding, and adopting local laws that focus on building and road elevations, setbacks from water bodies, fill limitations, sanitary codes and structures allowed in floodplains.
As an individual, you can protect yourself and your property by keeping debris out of storm drains and ditches, reporting clogged ditches to your local government, obtaining flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, determining whether a home or land you are considering buying is in a floodplain or flood-prone area, and by floodproofing your home.
Updated on 5-22-2013