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Lee County operations prepared for anticipated rain event

By Staff | May 25, 2018

Lee County’s Emergency Management, Natural Resources and the Department of Transportation are monitoring Subtropical Storm Alberto and the rain expected this holiday weekend.

The Emergency Operations Center is not activated; there are no plans to activate at this time, officials said.

According to a statement issued by the county:

The Lee Board of County Commissioners has invested millions of dollars in flood mitigation efforts post-Irma leading into this rainy season. Lee County Department of Transportation and Lee County Natural Resources have made preparations. Staff has reviewed and identified some parts of the county as critical areas for re-establishing existing flowways on county-owned rights-of-way for storm-water management.

County crews have been and continue to be in various areas to work on the public rights-of-way. That work includes removing plants, trees and structures that may be obstructing the water flow from the existing swales.

Be advised:

The county asks the public to report blocked ditches, swales, canals and areas of local flooding:

First, to find out if your road is maintained by Lee County DOT, visit leegis.leegov.com/RoadLookup/. If it is not maintained by Lee County, find your municipal contact by visiting www.leegov.com/dcd/flood. If you live on a private road, you are responsible for maintenance.

Second, put in a Request for Action (RFA) to improve surface water drainage along your county-maintained road by contacting the Request for Action Hotline at 239-533-9400 or www.leegov.com/dot/requestforaction. The Lee County DOT Request for Action is not affiliated with, and does not monitor, third-party applications or websites, such as SeeClickFix, PublicStuff, FixMyStreet or others.

People can use the same phone number and website to also report blocked creeks and streams (example: downed trees, collected debris). The reported information will be directed to Lee County Natural Resources.

Department of Transportation tips:

Motorists who notice problems with traffic signals can contact the Traffic Operations Center at LeeTrafficTOC@leegov.com or call 239-533-5762.

Dangerous road debris can be reported to 239-533-9400.

When approaching intersections and roads with standing water, do not drive or walk through a flooded area if you cannot see the road surface beneath the water. Keep your vehicle’s lights on and the flashers off.

Lee County DOT maintains all traffic signals, with the exception of those under construction, through agreements with the Florida DOT and municipalities.

General tips:

Remove anything outside your home that could become floating debris during a weather event, including your garbage can, lids and recycle carts; store them inside.

Never block natural flowways.

Protect your investment in property and contents with flood insurance.

Flood tips:

Go to www.leegov.com/dcd/flood to:

Find your local contact to report blocked ditches, swales or canals. (It may be a municipality or an entity other than the county.)

Learn your flood hazard, flood zone and map information.

Choose your flood-warning system by signing up for Code Red: www.leegov.com/codered.

The South Florida Water Management District also offers drainage-related tips at www.sfwmd.gov/our-work/eoc-how-we-prepare. Remember, some standing water is normal after rain. Local lakes, ponds, swales, golf courses and even streets are often designed to temporarily collect excess water after heavy rainfall to keep it away from your home.

Background:

You may recall that in the 2017 August rainfall event and during Hurricane Irma, about 30 inches of rain saturated Lee County in just a few weeks. The Lee Board of County Commissioners instructed staff to develop a plan; staff came back with and is implementing a three-pronged approach:

Phase 1 Immediate removal of known waterway impediments. Completed.

Phase 2 Flood assessments by watershed to identify impediments to storm flow for near-term and short term remedial efforts. Substantially completed.

Phase 3 Long-term look at potential engineered solutions. Firm selected; scope of work being developed.

More information:

Visit

www.leegov.com/irma/floodwww.floodsmart.gov/

Lee County All Hazards Guide is updated for this rainy season. It’s available in Creole, Spanish and English in hard copy and online. The update includes lessons-learned from Irma and the rain last summer. Here is the link:

www.leegov.com/publicsafety/emergencymanagement/plan/ahg