The County Commission has called on the South Florida Water Management District to take immediate action following flooding at the end of May
From May 22 to May 25, Miami Dade County experienced torrential downpours that led to some of the worst flooding the County has seen in decades. The flooding covered roadways, providing unsafe traffic conditions for drivers and flooding vehicles, adding to the property damage for residents. Homes and businesses were also flooded, the west part of the County experiencing the worst of it.
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is responsible for operating the multi-billion dollar flood protection system that the County has access to. This system consists of a C-4 (Tamiami) Canal and connected waterways and pumps that were constructed to prevent the kind of devasting flooding that took place in the County.
However, it is the belief of the Miami Dade County Board of Commissioners that the SFWMD failed to properly put the flood protection system to use. This is why Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz approved legislation on June 2 that urges the SFWMD to take immediate action to address the flooding as well as issue a report that explains what actions the SFWMD took prior to the disaster.
The belief of the SFWMD’s failure stems from the many opportunities they had to take action that would have prevented the catastrophic flooding that occurred. First, the heavy rainfall had been forecasted prior to the storm, leading to calls from individuals urging the SFWMD to take action to prevent extreme damage. In response, the SFWMD assured everyone that they had the situation under control.
According to the legislation, the extreme and extensive flooding that occurred tells a different story. It adds that the inaction on the part of the SFWMD exacerbated the already-present economic and personal hardships that Miami Dade County residents have been experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thus, the Board of Commissioners urges the SFWMD to bring transparency and take accountability for their lack of action towards this “preventable disaster” that left county residents and businesses in financial hardship.
Being that hurricane season is rapidly approaching, the board wants assurance that such a disaster will not happen again.
“I never thought I’d see the kind of flooding we just had after all the infrastructure that was put in place to prevent flooding,” said Commissioner Diaz. “We need to once and for all put in a process to avoid this from happening again.”