MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The South Florida Water Management District is preparing for potential impacts from Fred.
“We’ve got field crews out going up and down the canals making sure there is no debris, no garbage, no trees that could impede water flow,” said Randy Smith, South Florida Water Management District.
By Thursday night, SFWMD pump stations will be manned 24/7 and will run nonstop in anticipation of the rain to come.
SFWMD’s system moves water from west to east and out into the ocean to make sure it does not cause havoc on land.
“There’s 2,000 miles of district canals that connect to the cities and counties who have their own canals,” said Smith. “We provide the flood control to move the water when it rains, and you have storm water”
As SFWMD does preps of their own, South Florida cities are gearing up too.
The city of Miami told CBS4 News that they are monitoring Fred and have activated all their water pumps.
In Miami Beach, a statement from the city read, in part, “We are deploying an additional 11 temporary pumps throughout the city that will assist the existing pump stations in alleviating potential flooding. In addition, we have staff assigned to work around the clock starting Friday through Monday with additional crews on standby if necessary.”
“We want room, we want capacity for when that rain starts and it starts heavy, it’s going to come rushing into these canals, so we want to have plenty of room in there to continue to move that out into the ocean,” said Smith.
South Florida has been no stranger to flooding from tropical disturbances in the past.
In November 2020, Tropical Storm Eta packed a punch as inches of rainfall turned places like Brickell into a river of stuck cars.
“If we kept the canals high for a storm, it’s a losing battle because we can’t move it out fast enough,” said Smith.
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