Flooding assessments, pump distribution and other efforts support post-hurricane recovery

PALATKA, Fla., Oct. 8, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is assisting state and local governments with recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

“We are actively working with our local government partners through the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew to expedite recovery efforts,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Our public works team is moving pumps to assist local governments who call upon the district for help with recovery. We are also committed to working with permit holders by expediting permits to get businesses and residents back up and running quickly. Our engineers continue to make sound decisions to move water where it needs to be to help get our cities back in operation.”

District activities currently underway include:

  • Staff are conducting flooding assessments and have deployed pumps to Jacksonville Beach to assist recovery. Additional pumps are pending distribution.
  • 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 904-224-2958 or jpeluso@sjrwmd.com.
  • All district lands are currently closed to public access and recreation. District land managers are inspecting and beginning the cleanup of thousands of acres of district lands to make them safe and accessible for public recreation. To check the status of public access to district lands, visit the district’s website.
  • To ensure public safety, it is expected the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive will be closed at least through Monday, Oct. 10. Check the district’s social media sites and homepage for information about the reopening of the drive.
  • Staff are inspecting construction sites, levees and structures to ensure they are functioning properly. Additionally, staff are making minor repairs to facilities and vehicles damaged in the storm.
  • Navigation through the Burrell Lock, Moss Bluff Lock and the Apopka Lock and Dam is temporarily suspended and will remain closed through the weekend. It is expected that locks will reopen on Monday, Oct. 10.
  • The district’s regular monthly governing board meeting will be held at the Palatka headquarters, 4049 Reid St., Palatka, on Tuesday, beginning at 9 a.m. Monday’s site visit in Volusia County is canceled.