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March 14, 2013

Lafayette suffers minor flooding from Georgia rains

Mayo — Portions of area rivers continued to rise last week and over the weekend due to massive amounts of rainfall in Georgia and some roads in Lafayette County got flooded out, mainly in the Hatch Bend and Blue Springs area.

Between March 4-7 there were 11 roads in Lafayette County that were closed due to flooding, mostly small, secondary roads, according to Public Works Director Scott Sadler and Public Safety Director Donnie Land.

As of Monday March 11, those roads were still closed; NW Ezell Landing Rd., NW River Bank Rd., SE Caren Lane, SE Earl Blvd., SE Suwannee Trail, SE Land Rd., SE River Dr., NW Kings Rd., Vickie Gwinn Way, and two No Name Roads near Blue Springs.

Land said, “I talked to Suwannee River Water Management, or actually to the weather service. The river’s going to crest a little bit lower than what they actually thought, so we’re looking pretty good now.”

He said he doesn’t expect to see any more road closures due to flooding.

The Withlacoochee River tested below established water quality standards after the failure of a wastewater treatment plant in Valdosta, according to the Suwannee River Water Management District. 
“The Florida Department of Environmental Protection sampled the river after the failure last month of a wastewater treatment plant in Valdosta,” according to the SRWMD. 
“The results of the sampling showed that bacteria levels were well below the established water quality standard.”
FDEP does not plan to conduct further testing at this time and little to no environmental impact is anticipated.

Last Wednesday, March 6, the folks at Suwannee River Rendezvous and Campground, which sits right along the Suwannee River, were busy moving furniture and appliances out of their main office/lodge and up to higher ground just in case floodwaters entered the building. The water had already come over the banks and was lapping up against the building. Convict Springs right behind the building was completely immersed in water.

Owner Susie Paige was breathing a sigh of relief on Monday that the floodwaters were kept at bay and she said things were good.

“It flooded underneath the building,” she said.

The water didn’t get inside the building, but the area now needs to dry out.

“We need to wait for the water to go down,” she said. “Then all we have to do is put everything back together again.”

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