PALM BAY, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016 — One of the largest flood control and marsh restoration projects in the world proved itself once again during Hurricane Matthew.
“The Upper St. Johns River Basin Project has once again protected western Brevard and Indian River counties from flooding during another severe storm event,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “In fact, water levels never reached maximum elevations at any time during or following Hurricane Matthew.”
The Upper St. Johns River Basin Project, located at the river’s headwaters, is designed to store flood waters and gradually release water to the St. Johns River during major storm events. Under maximum storm conditions, the project is designed to hold 500,000 acre-feet of water – enough to cover the entire project area with 2.5 feet of water, virtually eliminating the need to discharge water to the Indian River Lagoon via C-54 canal. During Hurricane Matthew, between five and six inches of rain fell in the area of the upper St. Johns River Basin.
In addition to flood protection benefits, the nearly 200,000-acre project has revitalized the river’s flow by reclaiming drained marshlands, improving water quality, providing for water supply, and restoring or enhancing wetland habitat.