Teams of district staff partnering with local governments on damage assessments

District has deployed portable pumps and generators to alleviate flooding in several counties. Tommy Greer, of the district’s Bureau of Operations and Maintenance, is working today in Hawthorne.

District has deployed portable pumps and generators to alleviate flooding in several counties. Tommy Greer, of the district’s Bureau of Operations and Maintenance, is working today in Hawthorne.

PALATKA, Fla., Sept. 13, 2017 — Staff members from the St. Johns River Water Management District on Wednesday began partnering with local government staff to survey damage from Hurricane Irma in Jacksonville.

In the days ahead, district staff will join local governments in the hardest-hit communities to help assess the damage from Hurricane Irma and share district equipment to help in their recovery.
District staff on Wednesday began preliminary assessments of public facilities in Jacksonville and anticipate teaming up with the city of Palatka on Thursday to conduct structural damage assessments. The district’s assistance will help local governments when seeking FEMA assistance and also allows city and county staff to focus on meeting citizens’ immediate needs in the most affected communities.

In addition, portable pumps and generators are operating in Alachua, Flagler and St. Johns counties to convey water from flooded areas. On Tuesday, district staff and equipment pumped water from an assisted living facility in Putnam County.

Additional operational updates include:

  • The district has authorized certain flood relief measures for local governments and property owners who need to pump or divert floodwaters. The district executive director issued an emergency order that gives permit holders additional time to comply with permit conditions.
  • District 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 jpeluso@sjrwmd.com.
  • All lands owned by the district will remain closed to the public as staff continue to assess each property for safety and accessibility. While initial property inspections have found flooding, trees down and other conditions that make the area unsafe for recreation, continued inspections will not occur until commercial fuel supply is readily available.
  • The district continues to temporarily divert water from the Upper St. Johns River Basin project area to reduce downstream flooding impacts.

For ongoing updates, visit www.sjrwmd.com.