After sustaining serious flooding during Tropical Storm Isaac in August, the Indian Trail Improvement District was on high alert last week as Hurricane Sandy passed nearby.
ITID received less than 2 inches of rain over 48 hours as a result of Sandy, which stayed just off the coast as it headed north.
Nevertheless, the district took precautionary measures to make sure that there was minimal rain or wind damage, ITID Administrator Tanya Quickel told the Town-Crier.
Sandy strongly contrasted with Isaac, whose eye was about 400 miles away but brought feeder bands dumping 15 to 18 inches of water on The Acreage, leaving many residents stuck in their homes for up to a week.
“We started preparing [for Sandy] early on Thursday and Friday,” Quickel said. “Overall, we had a total accumulation of less than 2 inches.”
Quickel added that there was no wind or rain damage in The Acreage during the storm.
ITID started watching the storm on Monday when it formed south of Jamaica, Quickel said.
“We had been maintaining our system at control level following Isaac because we are still in the hurricane season and the wet season,” Quickel said, explaining that control level is the low end of the district’s permitted ranges, which is 16 feet for the 17-square-mile Upper M1 Basin and 15 feet for the 11.25-square-mile Lower M1 Basin.
“We have been maintaining those levels for weeks following Isaac, but then in anticipation of potential other events, we looked at everything else and tightened up as much as possible,” Quickel said. “This storm appeared to have more of a wind factor, so debris is more of the challenge when that is the case.”
As a precaution, ITID pulled out some contractors that had been cleaning canals.
“We had to shut down their operation and prepare for that,” Quickel explained. “We also had some excavation going on in the M2 Impoundment Area, and that also had to be closed down, which is normal preparedness procedure for any kind of event.”
Pump stations were fully staffed 24 hours a day Thursday morning through Saturday morning, she said.
“We participated in all South Florida and Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center conference calls,” she said.