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Record rainfall in June increases flooding risk

Posted at 5:45 PM, Jun 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-19 18:59:47-04

The month of June 2017 already had double the rainfall than the average for the entire month, and we still have 11 days to go. 


“June has gotten off to a gangbuster start,” said John Mitnik with the South Florida Water Management District. 


The first week of the month alone was nothing short of record breaking. 


“That period of time was the most rain we’ve had in 7 consecutive days on record,” Mitnik said. 


Pumps across South Florida are working non-stop, trying to keep up with water.  So far the district has gotten 13 inches of rain. 


“To put that in perspective, we generally have about 8 inches of rain for the entire month,” Mitnik said. 


Peter Hoelderle with Economy Lawn Services said he can’t keep up with the demand. 


“It’s non-stop,” Hoelderle said. “June’s been ridiculous, let’s just get it right. We didn’t get any rain for three months and then suddenly we get inundated.” 


Mitnik said all that rain at once does pose a problem. Normally, at the beginning of the wet season, the soil is dry and able to absorb lots of water. 


“When you get into the excessive rainfall that we’ve had in the first part of June, that soil storage is pretty much gone,” Mitnik said. 


That means the flooding risk for the region is high. Mitnik said he is hoping for a break from the rain but if a tropical depression came our way, he said the district is prepared. 


“In that event, we would do pre-storm drawdown and we would begin drawing down the entire canal system lower than it already is,” Mitnik said.