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District Lowers Canals As Tropical Wave Approaches Southeast Florida

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NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
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South Florida water managers are lowering water levels in canals to prepare for heavy rains starting Friday and into the weekend. 

A tropical wave in the northwest Bahamas is expected to arrive in southeast Florida today and stay through the weekend. Heavy rain, combined with high tides, could lead to flooding in parts of southeast Florida. 

“The primary concern is an average amount of 2 to 4 inches across really a good part of South Florida,” said Robert Molleda, a meteorologist for the South Florida office of the National Weather Service. “Some parts of South Florida, at least in isolated spots, could see greater amounts of 6 to 8 inches.” 

Molleda’s office is also monitoring tide levels, which continue to run above normal. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting higher than normal tides, also known as King Tides, through Sunday. A second King Tide is expected at the end of the month. 

“With the rainfall expected, the higher than normal tides could prevent the rain or any rainfall accumulation from draining down to the ground, so the higher than normal tides could contribute to a greater potential for flooding,” he said. 

With the tropical wave and the heart of hurricane season approaching, “now is a good time for residents to do their part by ensuring their storm drains and swales are clear of debris and also to familiarize themselves with what agency provides local drainage for their property,” Chief Engineer of the South Florida Water Management District John Mitnik said in a statement.

The South Florida Water Management District is the agency responsible for flood control in 16 counties from Orlando to Key West.