In response to Tropical Storm Fay, the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) wants to inform the public of its efforts in support of flood control operations and ongoing mitigation efforts to help minimize negative impacts.
Citizens can continuously check real-time rainfall data, surfacewater levels and flood prediction information by visiting the District’s website at www.mysuwanneeriver.com. In preparation for major storms, a link is posted on the homepage to take readers directly to the flood information page, which also has links to other helpful sites such as the National Weather Service and Florida Division of Emergency Management.
River level information can also be accessed 24 hours a day by calling the District’s automated phone line at 386.362.6626 or 800.604.2272.
The District has an active program of local government assistance in which funds and expertise are provided in establishing stormwater utilities and surface water system retrofits and improvements. The District is also a cooperative technical partner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is working to assist in digitizing and updating flood insurance rate maps throughout the water management district.
The District has acquired approximately 350 miles of river frontage as part of its Land Acquisition and Management plan that keeps development out of harms way. A non-structural approach to floodplain management is currently in place, and there are no canals, dikes, dams or levees to maintain and no structures to either contain or release water. However, the District takes a proactive regulatory approach that requires dwellings and other buildings be set back 75 feet from the river bank and have a one foot vertical freeboard above the one percent recurrence interval elevation.
In response to the effects of Hurricanes Charlie, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in 2004, the District was successful in obtaining a grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service and installed over $1 million worth of local drainage structure improvements.
District staff work in the field during and subsequent to extreme rainfall events to gather data, document water levels and assess flood damages. These and other proactive measures serve to keep the public informed and aware during major storms and other times of uncertainty.
Other agencies also provide important information during times of flood. For boating advisories including idle speed and no wake zones contact the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission at 386.758.0525. For property or road damage or repairs, or evacuation information and assistance, contact your local county emergency management coordinator.