Mayor Levine wants emergency generators for storm pumps now!


Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Mayor Levine wants emergency generators for storm pumps now!:

new pumps lost power at height of storm

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine is directing City staff to “immediately pursue emergency procurement procedures” to purchase generators for the City’s stormwater pump stations. While the City experienced record rainfall yesterday that fell at twice the rate the pumps are designed to handle, the situation was exacerbated by a 45-minute power outage in some areas, including the Sunset Harbour neighborhood where businesses experienced flooding. Sunset Harbour is the lowest lying area in the City and was the first to complete a road elevation and stormwater installation project to protect it from sea level rise. However, the pumps do not have emergency back-up power and were down yesterday at the most intense point of Tropical Storm Emily.
In a letter to residents and businesses this afternoon, the Mayor wrote yesterday “highlighted the need for immediate and swift implementation of the emergency generators for our pump stations.”
“Following Hurricane Matthew last October, the city made the determination that we needed to install at least one permanent generator in Sunset Harbour,” the Mayor wrote. In February, he authorized the purchase. He blamed the delay on a process that “has been bogged down in bureaucratic paralysis. As you can understand, this is extremely frustrating and the delay has clearly impacted the progress we've made to address flooding in our city.”
“Our residents, rightfully so, are demanding action and I agree,” he wrote. “Therefore, I have directed city staff to immediately pursue emergency procurement procedures to secure the generators to prevent future flooding as seen yesterday.”
The Mayor, who is not running for re-election this year, defended the City’s resiliency efforts. “The work we've done to mitigate flooding in 15-percent of the city is working and this morning we saw how the pumps drained the flooded streets quickly,” he said. “However, I appreciate that more needs to be done to fully address this issue. This is why I am committed to ensuring we do all we can in my remaining months as Mayor to deliver on my commitment to you to address the threats of sea level rise and climate change.”