Know who to contact for flooding, hurricane information

PALATKA, Fla., May 20,2016 — With the start of hurricane season just days away, now is the time to remember Florida is especially vulnerable to flooding, given its location and many waterways. The St. Johns River Water Management District works closely with local governments to develop improved flood management plans through the regulatory process. It also assists communities in developing and implementing mitigation strategies.

“Storms are a natural part of life in the Sunshine State, but with proper planning they’re nothing we can’t weather together,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “With cooperation among local government entities, the district and residents we can brace for and recover from any storm impacts more quickly and help everyone return to their natural routines.”

Local governments shoulder much of the responsibility when it comes to flood protection and are the primary entities responsible for state-of-emergency declarations,evacuations and rescue efforts during flood-related disasters. If you are experiencing flooding, your first contact should be your local government. However, long-term flood protection requires individuals and government at all levels.

Water is a year-round focus for the water management district. One of the agency’s core missions is to prevent increases in flooding districtwide and to operate and maintain its regional flood control projects located in the southern end of its 18-county region.

The district restores wetlands and floodplain areas that provide flood water storage. Through its permit-ting program, the district ensures storm water is managed on development sites and that new drainage ditches or significant changes to existing ditches are coordinated regionally.

The district also assists local governments by issuing emergency orders that allow for the pumping of water to alleviate flooding when public health and safety are at risk. The district also may issue emergency orders to authorize repairs, replacement or restoration of public and private properties, relaxing regulations that might otherwise delay activity necessary to cope with the emergency.

During a storm, the latest information is available on the district’s website at For general water level information and rainfall data, visit the district’s hydrologic data Web page