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Floodwaters cause Suwannee and Santa Fe River levels to rise

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission activated all five idle-speed, no-wake zones on the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers due to floodwaters this past weekend.

The FWC is patrolling these zones to make sure boaters abide by the rules.

“Just go slow,” said Karen Parker, spokeswoman for the FWC. “When it’s at the idle-speed, no-wake zone, that means the vessel can’t proceed at a speed any greater than what’s required to maintain steerage and headway.”

The commission is also ensuring boater safety in high water levels, Parker said.

“We don’t want anybody getting hurt out there,” she said. “We don’t want anybody running into anything and damaging their boats.”

Some zones are expected to be deactivated later this week. Parker said the FWC is watching gauges and waiting for waters to return to a safe level.

The FWC urges boaters to stay off of the river systems if they can, but Parker said she hopes that boaters who continue to use it proceed with caution.

For more information on conditions and real-time water level updates, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com.

Michelle Plitnikas wrote this story online.

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