St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District St. Johns River Water Management District
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May 27, 2015

District website offers hurricane preparation tips, storm contacts, flood information

The St. Johns River Water Management District’s website provides easy access to valuable information to assist the public and local governments before, during and after severe storm events.

Hurricane season officially begins June 1. The District’s web pages (floridaswater.com/storm) include links to flood statements and warnings, river stage and flooding data, and local government emergency contacts. Links to the National Weather Service, Florida Division of Emergency Management and the U.S. Geological Survey’s interactive map of current conditions in the state are also available via the website.

Florida’s many waterways and extensive coastline make the state especially vulnerable to floods. When hurricanes and other storms bring high volumes of rain in short periods of time, flooding can result. Partnerships between the public and government entities are necessary to minimize flooding impacts, protect personal property and assist flood victims during and after storms.

Local governments are the primary entities responsible for emergency responses during storms, such as implementing state-of-emergency declarations, evacuations and rescue efforts during flood-related disasters. The District works closely with local governments year-round to develop improved flood management plans and to help communities establish and implement strategies to deal with floods once they occur.

In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, the District assists local governments by issuing emergency orders that allow for the pumping of water to alleviate flooding when public health and safety are at risk. The District also issues emergency orders to authorize repair, replacement or restoration of public and private property.

To prepare for hurricane season, which officially runs through Nov. 30, property owners can protect themselves and their property by:

  • Keeping debris out of storm drains and ditches
  • Reporting clogged ditches to local governments
  • Cleaning out gutters and extending downspouts at least four feet from structures
  • Building up the ground around the home to promote drainage away from the foundation
  • Obtaining flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program

May 21, 2015

Board selects Shortelle as new executive director

The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board on May 21, 2015, unanimously selected Dr. Ann Shortelle of Gainesville as the agency’s new executive director.

Shortelle will begin serving as executive director for the St. Johns District on June 1, 2015.

“Dr. Shortelle’s vast experience in water resource management in both the public and private sectors will be invaluable as we work to accomplish our core missions in the most effective and efficient manner possible,” said Governing Board Chairman John Miklos. “Among her many accomplishments, she has been a positive voice for springs restoration in north Florida and for public-private partnerships to promote water conservation and to ensure an adequate water supply. Her passion and professionalism will greatly benefit this District.”

“Working with the leadership of the Governing Board and the commitment of their dedicated professional staff, we will continue to plan for and protect water resources and supply for today and future generations,” Shortelle said. “I look forward to serving the citizens and stakeholders of the St. Johns District.”

Shortelle has more than 25 years of professional experience in lake, riverine and reservoir management for water quantity and quality. Her experience also includes surface water/wetlands restoration, surface water modeling, permitting and environmental assessments.

For the past three years, Shortelle has served as executive director for the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), where she has been actively involved in the North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership and springs protection.

Prior to taking the helm at SRWMD, she was the director of the Office of Water Policy for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), where she helped develop water policy for water supply planning and alternative water supplies, minimum flows and levels, reuse, water conservation, water quality protection and consumptive use permitting.

Shortelle worked as a consultant in the private sector before her employment at DEP.

Shortelle is a member of the North American Lake Management Society, the American Water Resources Association, and other professional organizations. She served on the North American Lake Management Society’s Board of Directors, and was a former two-term member of the Florida Lake Management Society Board of Directors and served on the policy advisory committee to DEP for designated use and classification refinement for surface waters.

She holds a doctorate degree in limnology from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor of science degree in biology from Mercer University. She has authored/co-authored more than 40 publications and presentations on environmental topics.

Shortelle, whose selection is subject to confirmation by Florida’s governor and Senate, replaces Hans G. Tanzler III, who left the St. Johns District to return to the private sector on May 4.

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St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922