LISTEN LIVE

flooding

Forecasters in Mississippi are bracing for what could be one of the most devastating floods in the state's history, as days of heavy downpours stoke fears that a river in the state capital of Jackson will continue to swell beyond its banks and threaten the homes of thousands of people.

Flooding has already began to ripple across parts of Jackson and surrounding areas, and state and federal officials are working to contain the severity of the flooding in the face of additional rainfall expected in the days ahead.

Engineers are designing for an increasingly soggy future in a rough industrial bay west of Riviera Beach, building Erector set-style defenses to keep out a wily intruder — water.

In his new book, "The Geography of Risk: Epic Storms, Rising Seas, and the Cost of America's Coast," Pulitzer-prize winning author Gilbert Gaul takes a look at the U.S. history of coastal development since World War II - and finds a recipe for disaster.

When Arthur Mosely moved to East Austin in the 1980s he didn't worry about flooding. His property was not in a designated floodplain, and he thought of the creek that ran behind the house as an amenity. It guaranteed privacy and a green space full of muscadine grapes and pecan trees.

But over the years more houses went up and the creek flooded repeatedly, almost reaching his house twice. "All of this was water," he explains on a recent windy morning, gesturing to a wide swath of his backyard.

A house in Pinellas County during a flooding event, with piles of sandbags trying to protect it
Photography provided courtesy of Pinellas County Marketing and Communications Department

For everyone who filled up sandbags in advance of Hurricane Dorian and is now wondering how to get rid of them, county officials throughout Tampa Bay say: hang on.

A pile of sand and sandbags sit near city of St. Petersburg workers who distribute them in advance of a 2016 storm
City of St. Petersburg/Flickr.com

Hurricanes such as Dorian are providing valuable data and modeling for planners and politicians working to battle climate change.

The process is called resiliency

Loading...

A commercial satellite image shows just how much of Grand Bahama Island is underwater following days of torrential rain and massive storm surge from Hurricane Dorian.

Several inches of rain have already fallen in many communities of west-central Florida this week, and with more anticipated over the next two days, the risk of flooding will continue.

A Flood Watch has been issued for parts of Florida’s Big Bend and inland areas of North Florida through Saturday evening. Flood Watches also continue for much of west-central Florida and southeast Florida through Friday evening.

3 to 7 inches of rain has fallen near the Nature Coast and north of Tampa since Monday, according to estimates from doppler radar and several reporting stations.

Forecasters said slow-moving Barry could unload 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 centimeters) of rain through Sunday across a swath of Louisiana that includes New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as southwestern Mississippi, with pockets in Louisiana getting 25
FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK

Associated Press

Building toward hurricane strength, Tropical Storm Barry began hitting Louisiana with wind and rain Friday as it closed in for what could be a long, slow — and epic — drenching that could trigger severe flooding in and around New Orleans.

Bayshore Boulevard in South Tampa routinely floods during thunderstorms.
WUSF Public Media

By Rebecca Hersher / NPR

Sea levels are rising, and that is sending more ocean water into streets, sewers and homes. For people who live and work in coastal communities, that means more otherwise-sunny days disrupted by flooding.

Flooding
U.S. Coast Guard photo

By Steve Newborn

Two members of Congress have joined a new coalition of  political, business and local leaders looking into combatting flooding from rising seas.  The pair - one a Republican, the other a Democrat - highlights the group's non-partisan outlook.

Updated Pinellas County flood zone map.
Pinellas County

Pinellas County residents may find themselves living in a flood zone after a recent update to coastal flood maps by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. These new changes can mean higher or lower flood insurance premiums for some people.

Fight Over Home Insurance Payouts Floods Into Florida Supreme Court

Dec 29, 2018

Amid continuing political and legal battles about the insurance practice known as “assignment of benefits,” the Florida Supreme Court has agreed to take up a closely watched case stemming from water damage to a St. Lucie County home.

Pasco Sheriff's Office/Twitter

Tampa Bay area residents will get an up close and personal view of powerful Category 4 Hurricane Michael as it jets by the state’s west coast on its way to the panhandle.

Hurricane Michael Slams Into Florida Panhandle With 155 MPH Winds

Oct 10, 2018
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Updated 5:30 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Michael has lost some power, but it remains a dangerous Category 3 storm as it approaches an area where Florida, Alabama and Georgia meet.

St. Pete Police Department/Twitter

The Gulf Coast of Florida is already feeling impacts of Hurricane Michael with minor coastal flooding due to storm surge and high tide.

The first thing that hit Ashley Simpson when she opened her car door was the smell: a rotten, stale, mold smell, leftover from the sewage-contaminated floodwaters that engulfed her silver 2010 Chevrolet HHR Cruiser during Hurricane Florence. The next thing to hit her were the gnats flying out that had been breeding amid the mold for nearly a week.

Krista Holland wanders past huddles of people at a storm shelter in Chapel Hill, N.C. Some are wearing Red Cross vests; others are in bathrobes and pajamas. The Wilmington principal is looking for any of her students who may have evacuated to the shelter before Hurricane Florence made landfall.

She recognizes a young man wearing earbuds.

"You remember me," the longtime educator says. "Ms. Holland?"

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were hit by power outages and widespread flooding Monday as remnants of the Atlantic season's first hurricane provided an initial test of how far they have recovered from last year's devastating storms.

NASA

This week on Florida Matters we talk to weather experts and hear stories about how communities across the state are preparing for the 2018 hurricane season.


NoFloodFlorida.com

One thing would-be homeowners in Florida have to worry about is if their potential property might be affected by flooding in a hurricane. Now, a pair of USF graduate students have created a database that helps tell people if that might be the case. 

mymanatee.org

Manatee County Commissioners reopened a longtime discussion about decreasing the risk of flooding in residential areas Tuesday.

Pasco County Government

Several Pasco County neighborhoods at risk of serious flooding should soon be safer due to funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

National Weather Service Image

Hernando County is opening a shelter in Brooksville for people escaping the high water of the Withlacoochee River.  Residents along the river, near Trilby in eastern Hernando County, have been asked to voluntarily evacuate.

The worst flooding in 150 years has left many in Northeast Florida without homes, businesses and cars.

Hurricane Irma arrived in the Jacksonville area just as a nasty nor’easter was leaving, and the one-two punch sent lifelong residents fleeing from storm surge much higher than anything they’d ever imagined.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Even though Hurricane Irma is well behind us, many neighborhoods remain several feet underwater - including one along the Alafia River near Lithia.

Ebyabe (Wikimedia Commons)

Like most of the Tampa Bay Area, Sarasota County is focused on restoring power to the thousands of residents who lost it during Hurricane Irma. But something else has emergency officials' attention -- flooding of the Myakka River.

Wikimedia Commons / WUSF Public Media

River flooding is the latest consequence of Hurricane Irma blowing through Florida earlier this week.

The National Weather Service in Ruskin  said significant river flooding will continue over the next several days as rain from the storm drains into West Central Florida rivers.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

It seemed an obvious solution to Michael Oded, who was asked at the last minute Friday to get sandbags and secure his friend’s Davis Islands home from flooding.

Lake Okeechobee is currently at 13.7 feet, which is a slight increase over the course of the week, despite days of water releases into the estuaries surrounding the lake.

While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not at this point believe the aging Hoover Dike is at risk of breach, there are three places where they expect significant amount of water to splash over and potentially stream over the top of those sites.

Pages