April 3, 2024
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this page is frequently updated when things are active

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  quick links:   NHC     Miami WFO National Weather Service Forecast Office Miami-South Florida      SFWMD rain forecast      El Portal Hurricane Preparedness


This site is for information only. In Florida all official decisions about emergencies including hurricanes and flooding are made by county and municipal government.

Please check frequently with the National Hurricane Center https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ for updates during this hurricane season. And any time a storm threatens us be sure to check frequently with Miami-Dade Emergency Management and the Village of El Portal.

go to hurricane
and flood risk

go to possibilities of
moderate flooding
of low-lying areas

Storm News

April 3, 2024

site has been offline recently now back

See this SFWMD site for C-7 / Little River water levels, etc. (you may need to refresh the page to see it)

I am leaving here my simplified explantion of the last two low-pressure high wind and rain storms we have had at the end of last year. This is what the most recent one looked to me like on Saturday December 16:

The storm/low pressure system moving east is close to Florida now (Saturday morning). It will be over north Florida tonight and early Sunday morning when here in south Florida we will have strong winds and wind gusts coming from the south and then west.

Note that we don't know how strong the winds will be because that depends on how low the pressure drops in the storm (see diagram below). In El Portal worst case wind could be 30 mph with 50 mph gusts. At a minimum it seems there will be tree damage and power outages.
FPL power outage map (zoom in to your location)

There may be scattered strong thunderstorms with short-lasting heavy rain but no long-lasting flooding. The wind will come from the south at first so homes along the river may get water spray.

sketch of weather situation Saturday night/Sunday morning:

click to enlarge

This is El Portal resident Hugh Gladwin's unofficial weather information page for our area. Here I try to let you know about possible flood events which may be coming up a week or so ahead of time. Please understand that this is my unofficial and personal opinion only. I am not a meteorologist or expert in other areas involved so you must not make final safety decisions based on this page. What I say is based on official sources (some links below) and you should do the same.

This page will be updated frequently when there is bad weather ahead and less so otherwise. The date of the last update will always be at the top of the page so you can see if there is new information here.

El Portal hurricane and flood risk possibilities

flags2.gif hurricane threat
This section looks at long term and short term hurricane possibilities and what to do to get ready for them.

These are two long-term forecast sites I look at:
Global Tropics Hazards and Benefits Outlook

Hurricane Preparation
The most important thing when a major hurricane coming is this: people who are ready with a plan, supplies and a place to go if they will need to evacuate can wait to see what happens. They will be ready to follow official instructions from El Portal Village and Miami-Dade County, which will usually come 48 hours before the storm arrives.

Most of all people need to know whether they are living in a place where they might need to evacuate if a major hurricane hits. There are many reasons to evacuate, but the most important is to avoid the chance of major injury or death. The major risk in El Portal would be flooding of homes under 5 feet elevation if a hurricane came bringing very heavy sustained rainfall. click here for a further discussion of this and hurricane preparation.

flags2.gif flood threat

Is your house under 5 feet base elevation? If it is, in a worst-case hurricane situation with heavy sustained rainfall, you could have water in your home four to six feet deep. There will be about a 48-hour warning that would be possible, and if it comes, you have to have a plan for evacuation.
Click on this map to see the area of El Portal under 5 ft elevation inside the red line:
Scroll down to the end of this page to Know the elevation of your home to find detailed elevation maps where you can find your home elevation.

mflood.gif threat of moderate flooding of low-lying areas of El Portal in a heavy rainfall event
This refers to heavy rainfall events that could put 1-3 feet of water in areas of the Village under 5 ft elevation or with poor drainage. There will be a 48-hour warning here if that is a possibility and 6-hour warning if it probably is going to happen.

It is very important to understand that in these situations flood water level in the Little River/C7 canal and in El Portal can rise very quickly but will always take a very long time to drain out.
During such times the gates of SFWMD control structure are always draining water as fast as possible out of the river but the maximum flow through is very limited. And at high tide in Biscayne Bay there is usually no flow at all.

If you live in a low-lying area or are interested in learning more about this please read this report to the Village from the Little River Conservancy.


If low-elevation flooding happens this amount of flooding is not life-threatening in and of itself if you stay in your home. However, if we get tropical storm force winds wading through flood water could be very dangerous due to falling tree debris and possibly live downed power lines. The elevation map below shows in two types of situations where this flooding could happen. The first is low elevation areas under 5 ft (purple area in map) where if the water table in the aquifer rises to only a foot lower than street level there will be little space left above for street water to drain into via storm drains or permeable swale areas.

The second is higher ground areas if we get intense rain. Here smaller elevation-depressed areas trap water while it slowly drains. This will be pronounced in those areas if many swale areas are paved or storm drains are not functioning. There are number of such small areas on higher ground and there are also two larger ones in the northeast side of the Village shown surrounded by black lines on the map that are FEMA-designated X flood zones. Normally in these higher areas there will be enough space in the aquifer above the water table to drain them, even if it takes a while. However, if the ground is completely saturated with rain water that will not be the case and this kind of flooding will last for a while.

click to enlarge

SFWMD Forecast [live link]
Biscayne Bay tides[live link]].

measures used to assess potential flood risk for El Portal

I will be using official information sources to make these estimates. At this site, you can see the sources and how they will be used https://c7riochico.net/epw/floodproc.htm
Interested residents are encouraged to go here and do their own study from these sources. This will be very helpful in case something happens and I am not able to do it.


El Portal Resilience site with reports on meetings and actions

Flooding situation report submitted to Task Force
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Know the elevation of your home

When flooding is possible, it is important to know the elevation of your home. If you click on the images below you will get a very large map showing elevations** in the west side and east side of El Portal. Elevation in feet is marked with colors and numbers on the maps showing elevation where the number is.

west side

east side

There will always be a satellite view here to reflect on the power of nature which we understand just as little as we understand our own human nature but have to humbly respect, love, and fear for what we can do to both.***
Hurricane Ida and California/Oregon fires

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important messages about this site

Contains unofficial information posted by El Portal resident Hugh Gladwin

Do not make decisions based on this web site, get in touch with Miami-Dade Emergency Management and the Village of El Portal. If you access this site you are agreeing that you understand the only information you can use to make final decisions about hurricane and flood risk comes from official sites like the National Hurricane Center and government entities authorized by law to make orders and recommendations about evacuation like Miami-Dade County and the Village of El Portal. I am not a meteorologist and not a government official so all I can do is assist you in accessing information and orders from those entities. If you access information on this site you are affirming that any decisions you make about hurricanes, flooding, and other risks are entirely your own responsibility.

If you would like to be notified when this page is updated please send me an email at hugh.gladwin@gmail.com (all notification messages will be blind send--no one will see your email address)

you can click on most images to see full size, then browser back button to return

most images will be updated when required, but a few images and links are [live link] in that, if you click on them, you will see the current information from the National Hurricane Center, South Florida Water Management District, or other official source.

This page refers to the current National Hurricane Center forecast and uses graphics from there. For current hurricane information that is the place to go first. I have put an informal and unofficial guide to resources there on hurricane forecasts

this page is frequently updated so refresh often to see what is current

** 2018 Miami-Dade County DEM 5ft

*** GOES-16 satellite view

**** Experimental forecast Tropical Cyclone Genesis Potential Fields