Water District upgrades technology before hurricane season

With the arrival of hurricane season this Saturday, June 1, the St Johns River Water Management District Communications Office spokesman Teresa Monson informed Historic City News that the District is more than ready for the worst Mother Nature may dish up this storm season.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, most initial forecasts project that the number of storms will be above average, and several forecasts indicate an above-average likelihood that a major hurricane will make landfall in the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast, or the U.S. East Coast.

 “We’ve recently reached a technological milestone in operating our flood control structures in the Upper St John River Basin and Moss Bluff Dam,” said St Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “We have the ability to operate flood control structures from remote locations using a computer, tablet or even a cell phone. This allows us to adjust water levels prior to or during a hurricane without risking the safety of our staff.”

Each year, the district’s staff participates in statewide disaster preparedness training with Florida’s emergency officials. The agency has weathered many hurricanes and tropical storms, assisting local communities before and in the aftermath of devastating storms, most recently Hurricane Michael in 2018, Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

The district operates flood-control structures in the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin — the Apopka-Beauclair Lock and Dam, Apopka Dam, Moss Bluff Dam and the Burrell Dam — to create additional capacity when necessary. Similarly, the Upper St Johns River Basin Project has gate structures to allow water to flow north, increasing water storage capacity.

For a list of local government flooding contacts, visit:

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