An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Seminole County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

SJRWMD, state, local officials work together on resiliency efforts


Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28, closely followed by Hurricane Nicole on Nov. 10. Ian brought extreme rainfall over portions of inland Florida, resulting in flooding that took more than a month to recede in some communities. In coastal regions, storms thrashed shorelines.

Months later, the evidence of destruction remains. Soggy drywall is piled up outside the homes on a low-lying street, and a brown line four feet up the side of a wall marks the depth of flood waters that once inundated the homes. Blue tarps still cover roofs. Beach parks are filled with piles of sand to replenish the shoreline, and, where the storm took too a big bite of the coast, houses collapsed onto the sliver of beach remaining.

Now that floodwaters are receding, communities across Florida are cleaning up and rebuilding.

The devastation caused by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole has prompted a renewed examination of how best to rebuild. Communities are examining how they can become more resilient to future storms and even what land use should look like in the future.

Recently, Dr. Wes Brooks, Chief Resilience Officer with the state of Florida, visited eight counties throughout the St. Johns River Water Management District, meeting with mayors and city managers from communities impacted by the storms. Representatives from the Florida Departments of Economic Opportunity, Environmental Protection, Transportation, the Division of Emergency Management, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the St. Johns River Water Management District participated — listening and offering ideas for funding for recovery efforts.