South Florida water managers prepare for potential impact of Tropical Storm Dorian

As Tropical Storm Dorian nears, water pumps are being tested, drains cleared

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – After a month of record-breaking rainfall and with the threat of Tropical Storm Dorian looming, South Florida water managers are making sure every preparation is being made. 

The South Broward drainage system is an interconnected network that is designed to keep flooding to a minimum. 

It involves canals, pumps and sometimes even cellphones. 

"This pump station will kick on automatically as water level rises up and reaches a certain level," said Kevin Hart, with the South Broward Drainage District. 

Just one pump station can process millions of gallons of water in a 24-hour period. 

Water pumps are being tested to ensure proper functionality if needed this weekend and beyond. 

In case of a storm, those pumps are used to clear drains and allow the water to flow out. 

Tuesday, what's called a gravity gate helped in the process to clear out water ahead of the potential rainfall from Tropical Storm Dorian.

The goal is to lower the water elevation in order to create storage for the expected rainfall should the storm come this way. 

Technology also plays a role, as engineers use cellphones to check on everything that's happening in real time. 

"We can see when pumps are running," said Hart. "We can see how much rainfall we’ve received."

At another Broward County station, a different kind of preparation took place.

Backhoe's were topped off with gas and prepared for deployment.

They are important pieces of equipment used to remove storm debris, which allows water to flow freely and keeps flooding to a minimum.  

The backhoes also can clear roadways, allowing for easier transportation immediately following a storm, which can be vital to first responders. 

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