Water managers working around the clock to support drainage as heavy rains impact

Posted 12/13/23

Heavy rainfall started on Dec. 13 and is expected through Sunday.

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Water managers working around the clock to support drainage as heavy rains impact


The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) operates the regional water management system and finished pre-storm preparations for the regional system yesterday in anticipation of forecasted rainfall. SFWMD will continue to actively monitor, manage and adjust our primary water management system throughout the entire rain event. Heavy rainfall started on Dec. 13 and is expected through Sunday. Over the next five days, rainfall is expected to be significantly above average for this time of year. There is a strong potential for flooding in low-lying areas, areas with poor drainage, and coastal areas impacted by high tides.

Much of the Central and Southern Florida region has an interconnected water management system, and flood control is a shared responsibility between county/city governments, local drainage districts, communities (including Homeowner Associations or HOAs), and SFWMD. In addition, SFWMD will work with our drainage partners to provide as much drainage as possible in impacted areas.

Actions by SFWMD:

• Managing our canals to allow the regional flood control system to operate at full capacity.
• Actively using flood protection gates and pumps to move water away from communities.
• Encouraging local governments, drainage operators, and communities to monitor the rainfall, ensure storm drains are cleared and prepare their systems.

• Completed pre-storm preparations and operational testing of key infrastructure including flood control gates and pump stations.
• Adjusting the system in response to high tides, which are expected due to onshore winds and tidal cycles.

Reminders for Residents and Visitors:

• If you face life-threatening flooding or are in imminent danger, call 9-1-1.
• Avoid driving through flooded areas. When in doubt, turn around.
• It is a crime to open or tamper with manhole covers.

• Ensure debris, trash cans, and other items are secured and cannot clog drainage ways.
• Monitor any announcements from your County’s Emergency Operations Center.
• Do not drink, wade, or swim in floodwaters.
• Read the infographic Rain Drain: What to Expect in Your Neighborhood When It Rains for a close-up look at the interconnected drainage system.

Flooded roads, swales and ditches are expected during and after heavy rain events. In the event water is impacting your home, please report the flooding to your local drainage operator. Type in your address and look up your local drainage operator at SFWMD.gov/FloodControl.

SFWMD will continue managing the regional flood control system to support drainage of impacted areas. Get the latest updates from the SFWMD by following us on Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter.

rainfall, flooding, south florida, central florida, SFWMD