Update On Flooding Recovery Efforts From Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis

Update on flooding emergency from Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis:

I just concluded an update to the media regarding the city’s recovery efforts to the extreme flooding this week. Here is what I said…

Good afternoon. I wanted to take an opportunity to provide the media and the public with an update on the city of Fort Lauderdale’s recovery efforts in response to this week’s flooding disaster.

City crews are making significant progress in neighborhoods inundated with flooding. Most of the city is clear. However, some areas continue to deal with the impact of high water — mainly in our southern and southwestern sections.

In addition the shelter and reunification center that we established here at Holiday Park with the American Red Cross, the city is creating three comfort stations in areas heavily impacted by the flooding. They will open at 7 a.m. tomorrow.

They will be located at: Shirley Small Park at 1230 SW 34 Ave., the Fort Lauderdale Fleet Services Center at 2515 SW 4 Ave. and Provident Park at 1412 NW 6 St.

All three stations have places for people to rest, and the Red Cross is serving regular meals at them.

Shirley Small Park and Fleet Services also have water available for distribution and charging ports for electronic devices. Shower units and portable bathrooms are being delivered to these two locations and should be set up by tomorrow afternoon.

At the Red Cross center in Holiday Park, we are now serving more than 100 residents. The Red Cross will have case workers there tomorrow to begin taking assessments for potential assistance.

No new water main breaks have been reported, but there has been one wastewater main break at 3200 NE 32 Ave. Also, significantly, we have received no 911 calls for help in areas accessible only by high-water vehicles.

The city’s call center has dealt with 350 calls today, but most concerned sanitation. In all, we’ve handled 5,127 calls since the flooding began.

Nature has been on our side over the last 24 hours. Both the groundwater table and tidal levels are falling and that is allowing for better discharge.

Allow me to address what steps we have been taking in the most heavily impacted areas.

There are currently 36 vacuum or pumping trucks deployed across the city.

We are using city equipment, equipment available through private contractors, and assets provided to us by West Palm Beach, Sunrise, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Pembroke Pines, Bonita Springs and Margate.

We continue to be assisted by the state Emergency Management Division. Again, I’d like to thank the governor’s administration for provision of state assets and personnel as well as the many surrounding communities that have come to our aid. We could not have accomplished what we have without your assistance.

In Melrose Manors, pumping continued overnight and throughout the day with the use of eight vacuum trucks. We added two more trucks today to the six stationed there overnight. Our engineering staff is analyzing ways to improve the work as 2 to 3 feet of water remain in some areas.

Water levels in Melrose Park fell 1 foot overnight and continue to decline. This has occurred after we opened the Lauderhill sluice gates. We have increased the number of vacuum trucks dedicated to this neighborhood to seven. Still, we recognize that there are areas that still require high-water vehicles in order to access, particularly in the middle of the neighborhood. We expect with continuous pumping that this will be mitigated within the next 24 hours.

In Edgewood, we have been continually pumping flood waters into the Florida Department of Transportation’s outfall on Southwest 12 Avenue. We are using two stationary pumps and 17 pump trucks in Edgewood.

This pumping resulted in a lowering of water levels by five inches in just a 12-hour period, with an additional decline since. Power has been fully restored to the area where fire-rescue crews needed to shut it down in order to perform search-and-rescue operations. I’m also pleased to report that the trailer park at 3001 SW 19 Terrace is becoming increasingly accessible.

Nearby in River Oaks, we have two stationary pumps that have been progressively lowering the water levels. For instance, the intersection of Southwest 24 and 18 Terrace was completely under water yesterday evening and is now dry at the crown. So is Southwest 22 at 19 Avenue. Work continues as a couple streets remain heavily flooded.

In the Durrs neighborhood, all roads are now open and passable with puddling limited to swales and the edges of roads in some areas. Dorsey-Riverbend is also substantially clear. Overnight, we used three vacuum trucks and discharged flood waters into the North Fork of the New River in order to clear remaining flood waters. Pump trucks were operational overnight as well in the Victoria Park neighborhood.

Our Police Department is deploying extra patrols as necessary to ensure residents and property are protected.

We are about to launch debris removal operations. Please look for messaging from the city about debris collection. As we do following a major hurricane, residents can expect crews to take several passes through their area before collections terminate.

Here are the basics about the upcoming debris removal:

Residents should place flood-generated debris at the curbside on the public right-of-way. Debris should be separated to ensure construction debris, vegetative debris and hazardous materials are not co-mingled. Please do not place any debris in bags as it may not be collected.

The city’s contractor will begin mobilization with debris removal this coming week.

We also will be starting targeted street cleaning and muck removal. Crews are looking for new potholes and sinkholes and muck that must be removed. One of our contractors has already been deployed to Melrose Park to begin muck removal.

We also are beginning steps to address possible mosquito infestation because of the standing water. We will be working with Broward County’s mosquito control division to take necessary preventive measures.

But your help is needed as well. Please empty, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters and trash containers.Tightly cover water storage containers like cisterns and rain barrels so mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs. For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito. Fill tree holes to prevent them from filling with water.

If you notice a mosquito infestation, please report it to our 24/7 Customer Service Center at 954-828-8000. You can also request service from Broward County through their online Mosquito Service Request Form or by calling 311.

There have been a lot of inquiries about disaster assistance for impacted homes and businesses. This traditionally comes through FEMA following a declaration of a federal disaster by the president.

We are not sure if we will cross the monetary threshold necessary to prompt such a declaration.

However, the state Emergency Management Division is working with FEMA and is collecting data to make a formal determination. We need anyone who had flooding of more than 36 inches within their home to report it to us so we can calculate the total community damage and provide it to the state and federal officials.

If we don’t qualify for individual assistance and small business loans, people would then need to look to their own insurance policies for support.

Finally, we have had reports of suspected price gouging and scams. The state attorney general has opened an investigation into price gouging, so please report any suspected instances to their hotline: 866-966-7226. I’m asked to warn residents of scams in which fly-by-night operations are offering assistance in clearing out homes. Be careful who you let in your house and make sure you know the credibility of who you might contract with.

City crews have been working around the clock since the start of the flooding to keep our neighborhoods safe and ensure as rapid of a recovery as possible. They have our deepest gratitude for these efforts. Their immediate efforts at search and rescue ensured that this disaster has not led to any loss of life.

I’d also like to thank the public. First, thank you for your patience. No one could have predicted we’d be hit by a once-in-a-thousand-year weather event, but we are working as quickly and diligently as possible. Secondly, we have had many instances of neighbor helping neighbor. It’s that sort of attitude that makes Fort Lauderdale such a great place to live.

The city is working with a volunteer assistance group that can help residents clean up their homes and properties damaged by floodwaters.

To ask for help, call the Customer Service line at 954-828-8000. They will take your name and contact information and get you in touch with volunteers to assist you


1 thought on “Update On Flooding Recovery Efforts From Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis

  1. Barney Agate

    Thanks for sharing this, Tom. 

    Kind regards, BarneyMobile: Pro Max, perhaps without being Appleized.  


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