Pumping continues in northeast Florida to alleviate flooding

PALATKA, Fla., Oct. 9, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District continued recovery efforts today in the Jacksonville Beach area in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

“Our team will continue to distribute pumps to alleviate flooding until recovery is complete,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “We’re committed to assisting local and state governments to expedite recovery efforts — flooding assessments, site inspections and other activities are ongoing, but recovery will take time.”

Two pumps are operational in Jacksonville Beach, and staff resumed pumping operations at Porpoise Point in Vilano Beach on Sunday to assist with flood recovery in St. Johns County. Additional pumps were deployed today to Flagler County. District pumps will continue to run during daylight hours until the site is dewatered.

Additional district activities underway include:

  • All district offices will reopen Monday at 8 a.m.
  • Staff are visiting Emergency Operations Centers in the hardest hit areas to coordinate recovery and share what District equipment is available to help with recovery.
  • Staff are working with permit holders by expediting permits to get businesses and residents back up and running quickly.
  • 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.
  • District lands other than those in Alachua County (Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve, Newnans Lake Conservation Area and Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area) are currently closed to public access and recreation.
  • District land managers continue inspections and 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.