PALATKA, Fla., Sept. 15, 2017 — Days after Hurricane Irma’s storm surge has receded, the St. Johns River and other water bodies continue to rise in many areas, causing flooding headaches for local governments and their residents. The St. Johns River Water Management District continues to mitigate flooding impacts in support of local emergency operations as communities work to recover and restore services.
The district continues to send its public works staff and portable pumps and generators to areas flooded by the storm. Staff are helping pump stormwater from the Malacompra Drive area in Flagler County, from Vilano Beach at Porpoise Point in St. Johns County and a site in Seminole County. Floodwater was pumped from an assisted living facility in Putnam County earlier this week, and district pumps helped remedy localized flooding in Hawthorne.
Some communities along the St. Johns River will see the river crest over the weekend and into next week as water flows downstream. 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 are the only controls the district has of water levels. The district is operating these control structures to manage water levels and offer flood relief to downstream communities.
In the Upper St. Johns River Basin, the district is working to reduce flows to the river to reduce downstream flooding. Since Monday afternoon, the district has released almost 7.2 billion gallons of river water through Canal 54 to the Indian River Lagoon. Another 5.8 billion gallons may be diverted before releases are discontinued early next week.
In the Ocklawaha Basin, to manage floodwaters and decrease potential for area flooding, flows from the Burrell Lock and Dam are being reduced to lower water levels in Haines Creek, and the Apopka Dam will be closed, limiting flows only to the Nutrient Reduction Facility.
Other district operations related to Hurricane Irma:
For continuing updates on district operations, visit the district’s website, www.sjrwmd.com.