Protect property to avoid flooding, water management district advises


With the start of hurricane season, Northeast Florida is especially vulnerable to flooding, the St. Johns River Water Management District reminds local residents.

“By being proactive ahead of a storm, homeowners can protect themselves and their property from flooding effects that are typically the biggest problem associated with hurricanes in Florida,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “The time to prepare is now, before the storm, and then to perform periodic maintenance to keep storm water flowing off your property and into a stormwater system or natural waterway.”

To prepare for hurricane season, which officially runs through Nov. 30, the district recommends that property owners protect themselves and their property by:

Cleaning out gutters and extending downspouts at least four feet from structures;

Keeping debris out of storm drains and ditches;

Reporting clogged ditches and culverts to local governments;

Retrofitting buildings to make them watertight;

Determining who has responsibility for stormwater pond maintenance in their neighborhood — it may be the homeowner’s association;

Obtaining flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

The district’s Web page ( includes links to flood statements and warnings, river stage and flooding data and local government emergency contacts. Links to the National Weather Service, Florida Division of Emergency Management and the U.S. Geological Survey’s interactive map of current conditions in the state are also available via the website.

Residents who experience flooding during a storm should first contact their local government for assistance.