What to expect in your neighborhood when it rains
June is Flood Awareness Month
June is typically the first full month of South Florida's annual rainy season, a five-month period that brings 70 percent of our regional rainfall in an average year. The rainy season can also bring flooding, which may occur when large amounts of rain fall over a short period of time or from a single heavy storm, tropical system or hurricane.
Governing Board Member Clarke Harlow explains the importance of the District's vast flood control system as he takes us on a tour through pump station S-5A.
If you haven't lived in Florida for long, you may not know that our climate has two seasons: wet and dry. Flood and drought are frequent visitors, the result of too much or too little rain. In any year, drought can happen during the wet season, and flooding can occur when we least expect a downpour. Weather in South Florida has a way of ignoring the calendar and expectations of "normal."
A Shared Responsibility
The South Florida Water Management District operates and maintains the regional water management system known as the Central and Southern Florida Project, which was authorized by Congress more than 60 years ago to protect residents and businesses from floods and droughts. This primary system of canals and natural waterways connects to community drainage districts and hundreds of smaller neighborhood systems to effectively manage floodwaters during heavy rain.
As a result of this interconnected drainage system, flood control in South Florida is a shared responsibility between the District, county and city governments, local drainage districts, homeowners associations and residents.
Canal & Structure Operations
Operations and Maintenance staff at the South Florida Water Management District serve our region from eight Field Stations as well as from our Headquarters in West Palm Beach. Field Station staff are who you are most likely to see in your community, working every day to make sure the regional water management system operates smoothly and efficiently to provide flood control and protect regional water supplies.
Throughout the year, Operations and Maintenance staff oversee approximately 2,100 miles of canals and 2,000 miles of levees/berms, 71 pump stations and more than 600 water control structures and 625 project culverts. They operate and maintain all the equipment, and they have the specialized expertise needed to keep this vast water management system ready for whatever nature sends our way, whether that's a typical summer rainstorm, a hurricane or drought. Moving water to meet varying conditions and needs is essential to sustaining South Florida's people, economy and our environment.
Map: Water Control Districts
Local canal systems in South Florida are maintained and operated by cities, counties and water control districts – also known as 298 districts for the chapter of Florida Statutes that outlines their responsibilities. These canal systems receive water from neighborhoods and store excess water or move it to the regional flood control system managed by the South Florida Water Management District.
More than 100 water control districts operate within the SFWMD's 16-county region. To see which water control district you live in, type your address into the search bar on the map below. You can click on a district for its contact information and more details.