Inside the Source: Maps Reveal Florida Hurricane Damage
May 15, 2019
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Maps Reveal Florida Hurricane Damage by Steve Wilent
"As reported in the March 2019 edition of The Forestry Source
, an analysis by Forest2Market
of the damage to timber in Florida by Hurricane Michael last year found that a total of 58.1 million tons of timber was blown down or damaged on more than 3.5 million acres. Some of that timber is—or was—on land owned by the Northwest Florida Water Management District (NFWMD), which manages water resources for 16 counties across 11,305 square miles in the state’s Panhandle. The 212,000 acres of NFWMD-owned land serve primarily to protect water quality and quantity for the district’s 1.37 million residents, but also provide recreation opportunities through numerous campgrounds, picnic areas, boat ramps, and other facilities, as well as income from timber sales.
“We estimate that damages exceed $1 billion—damage to our infrastructure and to our timber, debris cleanup costs, and changes in the characteristics of floodplains,” said Lennie Zeiler, director of asset management for NFWMD. Damage to timber on the district’s land was heavy. About 60,000 of the district’s 212,000 acres are productive timberland, with the remainder largely in floodplains. Much of the commercial timber on district Suite of GIS-based reporting and analytics tools."