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April 26, 2014

New crest forecasts for area rivers available

Live Oak — From the Suwannee River Water Management District:

April 26: 

NWS River Crest Table (Updated at 11:00 a.m. Some of the crests in the table occur past the forecast window in the graphical forecasts below. Next update by noon Sunday.)

The gage at Ellaville is reporting some occasional rapid drops, but otherwise is reporting correctly.

Suwannee Springs is expected to rise about another 6" and crest on Sunday 6" lower than the 2012 flood. Moderate flooding is occurring. White Springs is still cresting at 4.6' above flood stage but is expected to start to fall tomorrow. The rate of fall shown in the graphical forecasts might be optimistic and a slower decline is possible.

This morning, the NWS issued crest forecasts for all of the Suwannee and lower Santa Fe gages. Ellaville could rise another half-foot and crest near 57 on Monday, considered minor flooding. Dowling Park is expected to crest at flood stage on May 1. Luraville, Branford, and the lower Suwannee gages will follow, with a crest at Fowler's Bluff about a foot above flood stage by late on May 3. Crests will be about a foot lower than the 2009 flood at the lower Suwannee gages, and about 1.6' lower than 2009 at Branford, considered minor flooding.

Lower Santa Fe gages are rising due to the Suwannee, with levels about a foot lower than the 2009 flood expected next week at Three Rivers and Hildreth/129 Bridge. Major flooding is occurring at Three Rivers. Since this is a backwater flood, the effects become less and less upstream of Fort White. Flooding is not a concern in the area around High Springs and in the upper Santa Fe above O'Leno.

Hamilton and Levy counties closed their boat ramps on the Suwannee River due to high water. Idle Speed/No Wake restrictions are being enforced by the FWC on the Suwannee River from U.S. 90 at Ellaville to 1 mile below the Fowler's Bluff boat ramp (Zones 1-4), and on the Santa Fe River from O'Leno to the Suwannee confluence (Zone 5). While there are no enforced restrictions above Ellaville, boaters should be aware that there are rapid currents and debris which make for unsafe operating conditions. Report boating violations to FWC dispatch at 1-888-404-3922.

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