As the 2023 hurricane season slowly draws to a close, city leaders adopted an updated flood management guide that coincides with a revision of the National Hurricane Center’s tropical weather notification protocol. The updates, approved by commissioners during the Oct. 25 city meeting, put city staff and services on a storm notification timeframe that has been extended from five to seven days.
According to the guide, “the NHC extended the outlook due to technological advancements with satellites and modeling, stating that seven-day forecasts are just as reliable as the five-day forecasts.”
Developed in partnership with the Lakes & Waterways and Lake Killarney advisory boards, adjusted guidelines will improve the active management of lakes within the city. Management procedures will include the following checklist timeline:
- Seven days prior to a storm: Lower lake elevations where possible; remove Lake Killarney’s six drain well risers and Lake Bell’s top weir board.
- Five days prior to a storm: Inspect control and outflow structures and leaf trap devices on lakes; clear all control structures of debris.
- Three days prior to storm: Inspect and clear debris from culvert boxes under bridges on Temple Trail, Sterling and Pennsylvania avenues; inspect drain well intakes on all landlocked lakes and canals within the city’s Chain of Lakes and Howell Creek; coordinate the anticipated removal of fallen tree and debris clearance in creeks and conveyances; prepare sandbag distribution for residents.
- Two days prior to storm: Remove MLK Park drain well and Winter Park Racquet Club pond outfall board.
- One day prior to storm: Remove retractable grass carp barriers at lakes Bell and Berry.
The guide is one of several lake and stormwater management solutions that include basin studies of Winter Park’s lake system. The ongoing studies, meant to collect information that will aid stormwater management, could potentially change the strategies outlined in the new guide. The city also entered into a partnership with Orlando and Orange County for basin studies of the Loch Haven Chain of Lakes which includes Lake Sue, the first receiving body of water in Winter Park’s Chain of Lakes.
A copy of the updated flood management guide is available here. In the event of a late-season hurricane, the list of official City of Winter Park information resources is as follows:
- citEnews email service – cityofwinterpark.org/citEnews
- Facebook – facebook.com/WinterParkEmergencyInfo
- Twitter – twitter.com/WinterParkFla
- Nextdoor – sign up at nextdoor.com
- City’s emergency alert system – sign up at cityofwinterpark.org/outreach.
Other resources include:
- Non-emergency information line 407-599-3494 (live during Emergency Operation Center activation)
- Report electric utility power outages to 1-877-811-8700
- Report water & wastewater utilities outages to 407-599-3219