District Deactivates Tampa Bypass Canal System Returning to Normal Operating Conditions

News Release

The "Southwest Florida Water Management District":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/ (District) deactivated the "Lower Hillsborough Flood Detention Area ":https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/pdf/2005_Lower_Hillsborough_FDA_LU-Mgmt_Plan.pdf (LHFDA) today, reopening Structure S-155 and allowing boat traffic to resume along that portion of the Hillsborough River. High water levels caused by recent heavy rains have receded, allowing the Hillsborough River to return to its natural flow pattern.

In August, heavy rains caused the Hillsborough River to rise high enough to trigger the activation of the LHFDA. Flow from the Upper Hillsborough River (east of I-75) was diverted away from the City of Temple Terrace and City of Tampa and into the LHFDA, assisting with potential flooding caused by the Hillsborough River.

District staff redirected the flow of the river by closing the S-155 structure. The S-155 structure is located north of Morris Bridge Road and east of I-75 and can be seen from I-75 as you cross the Hillsborough River.

The Tampa Bypass Canal system was constructed in response to massive flooding caused by Hurricane Donna in 1960. The system is made up of five flood control structures located along the 15.7-mile canal designed to divert flood waters from the Hillsborough River into the 16,000-acre LHFDA. As the detention area fills with water from the river and the surrounding 450-square-mile area, the flows then enter the Tampa Bypass Canal and are safely diverted to McKay Bay, bypassing the cities of Temple Terrace and Tampa.