Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

South Beach Slammed By Flooding Rainstorm... Again

This happens again and again on South Beach, the only difference is how long it takes for the waters to recede.

I understand it's just above sea level, honest... been there.. lived there, worked there.. grew up there. But, at some point unless you are BP you find an option, a way to stop the problem. The town of Sweetwater in West Dade County used to have this problem and they worked at solving it. Sweetwater is basically in the Everglades and also just above sea level yet they worked at finding solutions.

What I find interesting is that somewhere between the watery start of the Miami Rainy Season and the dumping of water out of the Lake this always happens on Miami Beach. One problem is that the Bay and Indian Creek are at record high levels when they do the dumping. This is said from my own observation on a daily basis, even before the rains hit South Beach. Every day in Miami the storms form over the Everglades and they make their way slowly east falling on whichever area gets the rain. After years of growing up in Southwest Miami I missed the daily rainstorms when my parents moved to Miami Beach. You can go days on Miami Beach and not get a storm because the storms form and move ENE and land on North Miami Beach or ESE and land on Coral Gables...days go by and Miami Beach is dry until one forms and goes due east and slams into a sea breeze and Miami Beach gets the brunt of a strong rain storm.

And, many times when it wasn't raining and they were dumping the water level in the Bay and the Creek climbed higher and higher.. once it was blamed on a tropical storm that had long since cruised past South Florida and hmmmnnn only seemed to affect South Beach and Indian Creek..

There are real people who live on Miami Beach, not just tourists and we know when something smells fishy besides the Bay. It's easier to sweep up the water and pray it goes back into the Bay then it is do to something about it. If the little town of Sweetwater... could get a hold of Government money and make a plan.. I think that the good Commissioners of Miami Beach who are used to dining at all the local hot spots and usually busy complaining about what color a house is or isn't painted and whether or not they put out samples of food on Lincoln Road vs using plastic fake food could get their act together and help the people who live here all year and are every year inundated by floods the moment one good storm hits the area.

I interviewed a woman last year who is a bank teller in a Wachovia Bank on Miami Beach, her home near Monad Terrace was flooded, she lost everything in the house and two cars. She told me she used to worry on the Hurricane Season, after last year's flood she no longer worries on the Hurricane Season. She worries now on the rainy season.

Next time it rains like this on Miami Beach.. try parking on Alton Road and wading into Whole Foods and wade through the puddles to grab some fresh berries and hope and pray the flooding in Whole Foods is not so bad that they had to close the store... most of the locals just take off their flip flops and walk through the water... which I am sure is not the safest thing to do health wise but well the City of Miami Beach does not seem to have come up with any solutions better than that...

I find it hard to believe there is not some correlation between the dumping and the flooding and the dumping of the water is nice but... a few years it came back to haunt them when storms formed and didn't come anywhere near South Florida and we were in drought mode by October..

Hope Miami Beach gets a chance to dry out tomorrow and hope they can one day find a solution to cleaning up the drains and/or getting the water pumped out faster.

The lady... Marcia who is in the video that was stuck on South Beach is an old friend of mine.. know how she feels, been there...

Besos and Good Night.. Bobbi

ps..watching the wave in the Atlantic that may or may not try and pull together..


At 7:13 AM, Blogger zeta said...

True locals live here year round. The jet set take off by the end of April latest with their homes occupied by the help. Now its time for reality. Never has there been a true comprehensive plan to solve this put down on paper. Even the 1997 plan was piece meal and sadly this Community's policy makers were not driven by the community to follow through instead were seduced by the fat cat developers and the tinsel town condo flippers. Now is the time for local residents and businesses to come in droves to all of the Commission Meetings and speak up and support the few who are taking the lead on problem solving and holding them accountable. Bobbi is right, the high tide levels have risen. This is "not" from dumping water, however. Sea levels have risen, yes - its scientifically proven! Our infrastructre was built in the 30's and some in the 40's. There is over a 1 foot of change. The sea has risen 9 inches and guess what, the bay and canals have filled in on the bottom with silt and organic decomposition. New sea level rise is being projected by the Engineers master plan. The City must start keeping rain water in quadrants, meaning do not allow water to sheet flow from east to west exclusively but rather store and treat water in each of the quadrants. This means we will have to create storage facilities and even cut a few retention ponds, dig up a few parks and add to the golf courses the ability to store water. There can no longer be the rose colored 1960's bifocle lense perspective; city properties must be leveraged in a whole new way. Priorities may no longer be dictated by the ignorance of a tourist town gone mad on grape juice. There are a bunch of deep water injection wells that will need to be redeveloped and new ones added. Intrusion comes from a combination of sea water,ground water. Try pumping it out of your living room coming directly from your SLAB! Forget about the tiflex valves, this is a bandaid. And what they are doing is far too little and too late. The State has also abandoned our fair City and our City has been blindsided by the fat cat developers all at the same time, 1998-2007 in particular. Bobbi is right, the color of a house, the retro design and the ration issues vs. the modern design or otherwise, the City has to be given a mandate by its residents to CHANGE ITS WAYS AND HAVE PRIORITIES that involve MIAMI BEACH being above water. This new MASTER PLAN will be complete in 2010. The cost of building this out will be the largest investment this City will make - bar none! Start advocating your commmissioners to obtain budgeting and finance options including but not limited to tapping any or all parks, beutification or other luxory projects. The CMB will be under water unless this town changes fast. To share how much things must change, consider taking a few parks and digging a few large retention ponds and displacing anything previously built there and putting educational signs there for starters to educate the transient community of tourists and want to be residents about how this City elevated itself to sustain the next century. Consider outfall structures built much much higher on the West side (Bay and Canal Side) and even consider emergency eastern discharge points when the 50 year storm threshold has been breached pump stations can pump in multiple directions to convey stormwater. Emergency Generators will need to be installed next to new pump stations so that when electricity goes off, we the residents are not dependent on public works crews rolling out AFTER the storm has passed. This is the most profound step in the survival of Miami Beach. Its not putting bingo, its not a new Casino and its not what ribbon cuttings the Commissioners want to paint park benches pink.

At 7:32 AM, Blogger BobbiStorm said...

Thanks, interesting comment made "The sea has risen 9 inches and guess what, the bay and canals have filled in on the bottom with silt and organic decomposition."

Sort of like living with reality huh? Thanks... a lot to think on.


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