Hurricanes a threat to both residents, Indian River Lagoon



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Hurricanes are a problem in Brevard County, destroying houses, uprooting trees, causing flooding and even killing people. 

There are numerous guides to tell us how to prepare for and react to hurricanes. One of the best is the National Weather Service site (weather.gov/hurricane). There, the latest forecasts can be found, as well as a series of planning tools, including: Determine Your Risk, Evacuation Plan, Disaster Supplies, Insurance Checkup, Strengthen Your Home, Help Your Neighbor, and Complete Your Plan.

 So, prepare and stay safe!

It’s not just people that are affected by hurricanes. The Indian River Lagoon also can be severely impacted, due both to the winds and the accompanying rain.

While the strong winds can damage trees and other vegetation along the shores, it can help or hurt the IRL water quality depending on its  direction.

 Winds from the north can help move resting water south and out the Sebastian Inlet, while winds from the south can push organic matter and pollution up into the northern part of the lagoon. This leads to algal blooms. 

Additionally, sustained winds from either direction can lead to waves and turbulence that uproots seagrasses.

The huge amounts of rain also create problems. It washes all the fertilizer, pet feces, silt, organic matter and other material that has accumulated on land right into the lagoon. 

Flooding can force overflows of sewage and the failure of septic systems adds more nutrients and bacteria to the water. And, because it is fresh water, the rain actually can reduce the salinity of the lagoon. This endangers or kills various fauna and flora.

Hurricane season runs from June to November, with September being the most active month. Again, be careful and make preparations now.  

To learn more about how to help the Indian River Lagoon, go to HelpTheLagoon.org