Annual ‘Hurricane Freddy’ exercise readies SFWMD for response to storms


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WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – With the official start of hurricane season just around the corner, the South Florida Water Management District Thursday conducted its annual “Hurricane Freddy” exercise as part of the agency’s emergency operations readiness for hurricane season.

“The District manages $13 billion of infrastructure, with 2,000 miles of canals, 80 pump stations and 700 gates and weirs,” said SFWMD Executive Director Blake Guillory, P.E. “When a storm hits, moving water through this system protects the 8 million residents in our region. This annual exercise keeps us prepared for the hurricane season ahead.”

Throughout the day, trained District staff practiced emergency management and flood control procedures in response to Hurricane Freddy 2015, a simulated major storm.

The Test Scenario:

“Freddy” was 160 miles southeast of West Palm Beach, moving northwest from the central Bahamas at 20 mph with sustained winds of 100 mph.

SFWMD teams convened to analyze the storm before it made landfall, including modeling the potential impacts to flood control operations.

The storm made landfall on the eastern coast of South Florida as a major hurricane, bringing between 8 and 10 inches of rain in localized areas.

Remember, this was only a simulated storm.

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Throughout South Florida, flood control is a shared responsibility between the District, county and city governments, local drainage districts and residents. More information about the regional flood control system and what residents can do to help prepare for storms is available in the District’s Rain Drain: What to Expect in Your Neighborhood When it Rains brochure. For more information on the District’s emergency operations, visit Emergency Management website.

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Hurricane season officially starts June 1st.

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