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April 18, 2014

Update: Area rivers continue to rise

Live Oak —

From Suwannee River Water Management District. (mysuwanneeriver.com)

The flood watch remains for north Florida and south Georgia. Additional rainfall of 2-4" is expected on Friday throughout the area, with isolated totals up to 6". The area of expected heaviest precipitation has shifted north into south Georgia, which could mean a more favorable outlook for upper Santa Fe River flooding, but less favorable for the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Suwannee rivers. Coastal rivers including the Steinhatchee and Econfina are particularly vulnerable to renewed flooding since local watersheds are already saturated.

The NWS issued flood warnings for the Suwannee River at White Springs and at Suwannee Springs. Moderate flooding is expected at White Springs, with a crest near 81' on Monday. The June 2012 crest was over 85'. Minor flooding is expected at Suwannee Springs.

The flood warnings remain on the Santa Fe River from the Fort White gauge to the Suwannee confluence. The Fort White gauge could rise above flood stage by Saturday and could continue to rise to near 26' by Monday evening, considered moderate flooding.  Moderate flooding is still occurring at Three Rivers, which should rise another foot by Wednesday, with additional rises possible after that.

The flood warning remains for the Alapaha at Statenville, which should crest near 103 by Monday, its highest level since August 2013 when it crested at 104'. 

Ellaville and Luraville could rise above flood stage next week, and Branford and Wilcox could approach flood stage by Wednesday. River forecasts will become more certain after the storm has passed and the upper gauges begin to crest.

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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