Board approves emergency order, permit deadlines extended

PALATKA, Fla., Oct. 11, 2016 -- In support of post-hurricane recovery efforts, the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) has authorized certain flood relief measures for local governments and property owners who need to pump or divert floodwaters. The Governing Board today approved an emergency order that also gives permit holders additional time to comply with permit conditions that will come due after Oct. 5. The board's action extends the duration of permits that expire between Oct. 5 and Nov. 2.

PALATKA, Fla., Oct. 11, 2016 — In support of post-hurricane recovery efforts, the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) has authorized certain flood relief measures for local governments and property owners who need to pump or divert floodwaters. The Governing Board today approved an emergency order that also gives permit holders additional time to comply with permit conditions that will come due after Oct. 5. The board’s action extends the duration of permits that expire between Oct. 5 and Nov. 2.

“Our response and recovery support are ongoing,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Our continued focus is working with local governments on damage assessments, clearing district lands to allow public access and continuing to provide pumps and personnel to help divert floodwaters. With all district offices fully functional, regulatory staff are available to answer questions and work with permittees to get businesses and residents back up and running.”

The emergency order approved by the board today ensures local governments and property owners are able to pump or divert floodwater that is creating an ongoing emergency situation off-site without the need to notice the district through Oct. 14. After Oct. 14, governmental entities may continue to pump or divert floodwater resulting from Hurricane Matthew off-site upon providing notice to the SJRWMD and receiving oral or written authorization to continue doing so. Private property owners within the SJRWMD area may also pump or divert floodwaters off-site through Oct. 14 upon providing notice to the district and receiving oral or written permission to do so. Conditions that apply to these pumping or diverting of floodwater activities can be found in section 14 of the SJRWMD emergency order.

Additional SJRWMD activities underway include:

  • Staff continue to assist Putnam, Nassau and Flagler counties with damage assessments.
  • Currently, nearly 40 district lands are open, some with limitations. Even on conservation lands that reopened today, not all trails are completely cleared. Five properties had significant damage and remain closed. Those are Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area in Indian River County, Julington-Durbin Preserve in Duval and St. Johns counties, Moses Creek Conservation Area and Stokes Landing Conservation Area in St. Johns County and Pellicer Creek Conservation Area in Flagler County. For updates, visit the district’s website, www.sjrwmd.com.
  • No areas of concern were observed during the weekend inspection of levee systems in the Upper St. Johns River Flood Control Project. The systems worked as intended during the storm and helped prevent flooding in Indian River and Brevard counties.
  • Navigation through the Burrell Lock, Moss Bluff Lock and the Apopka Lock and Dam reopened Monday.
  • Pumps are currently deployed to Flagler County and Porpoise Point in Vilano Beach to help divert floodwaters.
  • Staff continue to reach out to Emergency Operations Centers in the hardest hit areas to coordinate recovery and share what district equipment is available to help with recovery.
  • SJRWMD regulatory staff are available to answer questions or issue emergency waivers to assist with the recovery effort. For assistance, please contact district ombudsman Jimmy Peluso at 904-224-2958 or jpeluso@sjrwmd.com.