Village and South Florida continue cleaning from the 2022 season’s first storm

The recent tropical disturbance, which dumped some 7 inches of rain in Key Biscayne, filled some areas as high as 4 feet of water after a power failure to one of Florida Power and Light's stormwater pumps occurred on Island Drive, said Fire Rescue Chief Eric Lang.

Speaking at this week’s Village Council meeting, Chief Lang noted the larger wastewater plant was taking in four times as much flow as normal. One issue was people in some adjacent areas reportedly lifting manhole covers to alleviate waters to protect their own homes. Sewage overflowed on Key Biscayne and into the beach area, where no swimming was allowed for more than two days.

In all, Lang's department had 21 calls for service, and the police department fielded 18 calls for service -- "most of them for vehicles stranded in water." The Community Center recorded 37 different types of communications, with only four VINS (push alerts) necessary, and there were 11 stories on the subject between the Islander News and KB Independent.

"We communicated effectively, scaled up the right amount of people, and accurately projected and responded to the community needs," Lang reported to the Council.

"I appreciate your staff on this dry run," said Mayor Mike Davey, alluding to his bad pun about the start of hurricane season.

One thing Lang did notice is vehicles don't do well in floods. He said he would like to avoid his Fire Rescue emergency vehicles getting stuck, so he might look at acquiring a heavy duty 4x4 vehicle to handle similar situations.

Vice Mayor Brett Moss suggested the possibility of retro-fitting existing vehicles with the raised air intake tubes you see on some trucks.

Lang will check if that is possible, and at what cost. "(But) we are not going to be (driving) around with $100,000 lift trucks, I can assure you," he said.

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