Pump Saves City from Hurricane-Related Flood Damage

The Takeaway: A new, large-capacity stormwater pump purchased with a NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience Grant helped Florida’s New Port Richey recover faster following a hurricane.

When city officials of New Port Richey received a new, large-capacity stormwater pump in 2017, purchased with a NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience Grant, they used it several days before Hurricane Irma to lower Orange Lake’s water levels by five to six feet. This action cut hurricane flood damage dramatically and restored the confidence of downtown residents and business owners in the city’s preparedness.

The situation was far different in 2016. Even before Hurricane Hermine stuck, the city struggled to manage growing trouble spots by moving pumps around and renting additional pumps. Then days of rain following Hermine caused floodwaters to spill over the banks of Orange Lake and the Pithlachascotee River, forcing people to boat and kayak down city streets, closing shops, and disintegrating road asphalt in spots.

NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management supported this project through a Gulf of Mexico Alliance grant competition. (2017)

Partners: Gulf of Mexico Alliance, City of New Port Richey