By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Most of the County Commissioner’s March 6 meeting dealt with the flood situation, either directly or indirectly, as various county employees and constitutional officers reported on the last few days.
Sheriff Ben Stewart told the board that his department now had four deputies certified as divers. The four went through a program of very intense training in every aspect of diving except cave diving, and could now be deployed to recover bodies from the water. To Read More
Madison County Sheriff Ben Stewart reports that the Withlacoochee River is quickly receding. However, many roads remain closed and are impassable without hazards and serious risk of safety. Sheriff Stewart explains for those with properties located along the flooded areas that the Sheriff’s Office will continue to patrol these areas and monitor conditions by land and vessel. Sheriff Stewart cautions motorist to not drive on roads with what appears to have low levels of water across them considering the unobvious erosion of roadways concealed under the waters. The Sheriff’s Office is making attempts to accommodate those with interest of specific properties as time allows.
Sheriff Stewart further reports that even though the Withlacoochee is receding, the Suwannee River continues to rise and is expected to crest at Ellaville by Friday at 12:00 noon at 55 feet. This level should not require any road closure of Highway 90 at Ellaville and for comparison the river crest at Ellaville in 2009 was 63.8 feet. The River at Dowling Park is expected to crest at 47.4 feet with the crest in 2009 being at 54 feet.
The Sheriff’s Office may be contacted at 850-973-4001.
A FLOOD WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER NEAR PINETTA (CR 150). THE WARNING RUNS FROM LATE FRIDAY NIGHT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE OR UNTIL THE WARNING IS CANCELLED. THE RIVER LEVEL IS CURRENTLY 68.5 FEET WITH FLOOD STAGE AT 79 FEET.
CURRENT FORECAST FOR THE WITHLACOOCHEE IS FOR IT TO RISE ABOVE FLOOD STAGE BY EARLY SATURDAY MORNING AND CONTINUE TO RISE TO NEAR 81.6 FEET BY MONDAY EVENING. MINOR FLOODING WILL BEGIN AT 79 FEET AFFECTING UNPAVED ROADS ALONG THE RIVER.
ALL PERSONS WITH INTEREST ALONG THE RIVER SHOULD MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT
LIFE AND PROPERTY. DO NOT DRIVE CARS THROUGH FLOODED AREAS. IF YOU SEE FLOOD WATERS…REMEMBER TO TURN AROUND AND DO NOT DROWN. WE URGE YOU TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS NOW, DO NOT WAIT UNTIL CONDITIONS HAVE DETERIORATED AND SAFETY IS AT RISK.