To alleviate potential flooding from Elsa, water management gets region ready

Emergency management officials find ways to

HIALEAH, Fla. – As the first named hurricane of the 2021 season and Elsa continued to intensify on approach, the South Florida Water Management District was getting the region ready.

To mitigate against flooding, the district was working to bring the water level down in canals in coordination with local drainage districts.

The work was already underway, explained Randy Smith, given this week’s relentless rainfall.

“So, our flood control system has already been working pretty hard trying to push a lot of the storm water out into the ocean to lower the water in the canals in anticipation of potentially heavy rainfall from Elsa,” Smith said.

In Monroe County, we caught up with County Administrator Roman Gastesi in his car at a Home Depot parking lot in Marathon.

He said he was there to update his own hurricane supplies kit.

“I tested my lantern this morning and it didn’t work, so here I am buying a new lantern. It is definitely the time to do that,” Gastesi said.

[RELATED: Download Local 10′s Hurricane Survival Guide]

Gastesi said Monroe County was hosting countywide administrative briefings twice a day.

“We are monitoring – just like you all are – and we are considering some protective measures but right now it is a little early,” he said.

The protective measures under consideration include whether to issue evacuations or declare a state of emergency. Those decisions are pending as they continue to monitor National Hurricane Center advisories.

“We will have a better understanding tomorrow and we will make those decisions tomorrow as we know more information,” Gastesi said.

In Broward County, Mayor Steve Geller told residents to shore up home supplies, such as non-perishables.

“Buy supplies now . . .while they are plentiful instead of waiting on long lines,” Geller cautioned.

About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."