WASHINGTON — A Florida State Parks superintendent has ordered that parkland be turned over to the state in an effort to deal with its flood damage and to ensure that flood damage is not repeated in future years.
The order, which comes amid a state budget crunch and an emergency declared by the state governor in a bid to address Florida’s flooding woes, directs state parks to immediately remove all flood-prone land within 1,000 feet of a school, community center, recreation center, hospital, hospital parking lot, or any other place where residents and visitors can gather, including at state parks, according to a press release from the Florida State Park System.
The order also directs state Parks to immediately replace all existing flood-resistant fencing, pavements, or barriers within 1 1/2 miles of a state park, including park trails, trails, playgrounds, golf courses, and other state-owned areas.
Parks across Florida will be required to immediately install new flood barriers, including on bridges and other bridges over State Road 844.
Flooded roads will be closed, with drivers and pedestrians asked to stay out of flooded areas.
The parks system will be responsible for all maintenance of the state parks system, including all park roads, water courses, parks, and recreation facilities.
The Florida State Office of Emergency Management is responsible for issuing and enforcing the order.