Officials Keeping Wary Eye On Corbett Berm

The Indian Trail Improvement District, in coordination with Palm Beach County’s Emergency Operations Center, issued an announcement Wednesday putting Acreage residents near the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area berm on alert to be prepared to take appropriate action in the event of a possible breach.

The structural integrity of the berm between The Acreage and the Corbett area is being closely monitored for a possible breach that could cause flooding in areas nearest the berm.

“They call it an in-shelter evacuation plan,” ITID Administrator Tanya Quickel told the Town-Crier on Wednesday. “If there is a problem with the berm or a potential break, because of the levels of the road and the land, this would be similar to the type of flooding that we had last week. There is a higher probability that house pads might be flooded in the area because of the amount of water, but it is not anticipated that people would drown in this. We are strongly encouraging people to stay in their homes in the event something did happen.”

Quickel said both the South Florida Water Management District and ITID have been monitoring the berm closely.

Because Corbett water levels remain above normal, the structural integrity of the berm between The Acreage and Corbett is being continuously watched. In the unlikely event that a breach were to occur, water would flow out of Corbett into the streets and canals of the northern reaches of The Acreage.

However, because the water elevation in Corbett is only slightly higher than street elevations, house flooding would not be expected to occur. Residents could expect to see water conditions similar to those that they experienced during Tropical Storm Isaac: a slow rise of water levels onto streets, in canals and on low-lying property.

To decrease the possibility of a breach, water levels are being drawn down in the Corbett area as rapidly as possible and repair materials are stockpiled at the berm for immediate use if needed.

Every attempt will be made to notify residents if a problem is detected. Since water conditions would be similar to Tropical Storm Isaac, residents should conduct themselves in a similar manner, including keeping supplies to last them several days.

“The water level inside Corbett is decreasing, and additional discharge is being planned that should be in place within a few days; that should greatly help,” Quickel said. “A great deal of effort is being made to improve the situation as quickly as possible.”

If there is an emergency, residents can contact the Palm Beach County Emergency Information Center at (561) 712-6400.