PALATKA, Fla., Aug. 31, 2019 — Here is a summary of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s current status of operations:
- The district further opened Burrell Dam today to increase water storage in lakes Harris, Eustis, Dora, Beauclair and Little Lake Harris, in the Upper Ocklawaha River system.
- All district lands are closed as of noon today and will remain closed until the storm has passed and staff are able to evaluate them for public safety. The closure includes the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.
- All district offices are closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. For information about office closings, visit the www.sjrwmd.com website or call the Palatka headquarters switchboard at 800-451-7106 for a recorded message.
- Water began discharging through the Harris Bayou Spillway on Aug. 29 and is expected to continue through the weekend.
- Water storage is currently available in Upper St. Johns River Basin and the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin. While the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project reduces flooding in much of the upper St. Johns, it does not reduce flooding in the river’s middle basin in east-central Florida, including lakes Monroe and Harney, nor further downstream in the river’s lower basin in north Florida.
- 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 district’s only structural controls of water levels. All these water control structures are in very good shape operationally.
- District staff approved the removal of excavators working on the Flagler County Wetland Restoration Project from the construction areas on Aug. 28 due to flooding concerns. The equipment has been removed and secured by the contractor.
- The district’s webpage at www.sjrwmd.com/storm/ offers information about the storm and water levels, including links to flood statements and warnings, river stage and flooding data, and local government emergency contacts. Also included are links to the National Weather Service, Florida Division of Emergency Management and the U.S. Geological Survey’s interactive map of current conditions in the state.
- Local governments are the primary entities responsible for emergency responses during storms, such as implementing state-of-emergency declarations, evacuations and rescue efforts during flood-related disasters. Homeowners can be prepared for heavy rains by keeping debris out of storm drains and ditches; reporting clogged ditches to local governments; and cleaning out gutters and extending downspouts at least four feet from structures.