WUFT News

Suwannee, Santa Fe Rivers Flooding Takes Toll On Riverside Structures

By and on September 2nd, 2013

North Florida resident Alyssa Adkins’ home is literally underwater.

Built next to the Suwannee River, Adkins’ home is one example of damage from recent floodings of the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers, caused by heavy rainfall. The floods have also shuttered businesses and forced residents to evacuate to higher ground.

“We have to take the doors out, the baseboards off, a lot of cleaning and then the mosquitoes, of course, are really, really bad,” Adkins said. “I’m just mentally exhausted. I’m renting a house in town where I don’t have to worry about flooding.”

The Adkins’ try to take precautionary measures by building up temporary plywood walls, but flood waters seep into the house anyway.

Garrett Bruno / WUFT News

Rising river water thwarts Alyssa Adkins' temporary plywood walls.

The flood warning issued by the National Weather Service for Gilchrist County on Aug. 27 will continue indefinitely.

Heavy rainfall is expected to cause the rivers “to dramatically rise over the next few days and could lead to minor to moderate flooding,” wrote David Eaton, Gilchrist County Emergency Management Director, in the Gilchrist County Journal.

The river is currently above flood stage and could rise to 21-feet above on Monday. Thursday it could potentially reach 22 feet in the Three Rivers Estates area of the Santa Fe River, according to the Suwannee River Water Management District. The Branford area is expected to hit 25 feet by Tuesday.

Dampier’s Landing to the south take-out on the Ichetucknee is closed due to high water levels, according to the Florida Park Service website. O’Leno State Park is closed for swimming, diving and canoeing this holiday weekend.

“I do think that some people having heard about the flooding and perhaps got, you know cold feet, or wet feet,” said Jim Wood, owner of Santa Fe Canoe Outpost. “And perhaps are thinking twice about coming out.”

Bob Hawkins, owner of the popular river playground and swimming attraction Bob’s River Place in Branford, Fla. has experienced damage. The flooding has forced him to close the attraction on his half-mile property, where he also lives, for several months.

“The trees along the bank of the river, due to the boat traffic, (are) being washed in. I have several trees that have washed in that (are) on my property,” said Hawkins. “This year has been very critical because (the river is) just at the perfect level to hit the roots and go underneath the trees along the bank.”

Speeding boats near Bob’s are technically not in violation of the idle-speed, no-wake zone imposed by Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last Friday, because Bob’s River Place lies just south of the bridge where the zone is being enforced. FWC officials are patrolling the river for violators where the zone is in effect.

Swimming and canoeing has been suspended on the river due to swift currents and to prevent another tragedy like the drowning-death of two men on the Suwannee last March, according to the Suwannee River Water Management District.

Steve Minnis, spokesman for the Suwannee River Water Management District urged people near the river to take the necessary precautions before the river rises even more in the coming days.

“Next week is statistically the peak of hurricane season,” he wrote in an email. “With levels so high, people should be vigilant about river levels and forecasts.”

Adkins’ backyard and dock are submerged below the rising waters of the Suwannee River.

Garrett Bruno / WUFT News

Adkins’ backyard and dock are submerged below the rising waters of the Suwannee River.

Adkins is forced to be vigilant from afar, for now at least.

“Just the wake alone, splashing into our yard, ruining our yard, boaters don’t think about that,” Adkins said. “They don’t get it…I cried when I walked into (our house). We had just done some remodeling and we walked in and, lo and behold, there was septic floating around on my floor.”


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

Supreme Court Decision Reopens Juvenile Sentences

Florida inmates serving life sentences for crimes they committed as juveniles should be resentenced under guidelines that went into effect last year, the Florida Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday.


Boy, 9, Dies In Ocala National Forest House Fire

A 9-year-old boy died after a fire broke out at his mobile home in the Ocala National Forest. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.


While swamps filled up early Thursday with gallons and gallons of rainwater, the flooding was largely contained in the Big Bend region compared to the deluge from Tropical Storm Debby in 2012.

Group Wants Probe of Whether Fla. Banned Climate-Change Talk

Former state employees claim supervisors forbade them from using the term “climate change.” A Florida environmental group is requesting an investigation.


A ribbon cutting took place at the ceremonial signing of development contracts between the city of New Port Richey, Florida and developers Yaakov Rosner and Abraham Rosner of Florida Motel Inc. on Feb. 10 at the Hacienda Hotel in New Port Richey, Florida. Pictured left to right is Mario Iezzoni, Chopper Davis, Bill Phillips, Judy DeBella Thomas, Yaakov Rosner, Abraham Rosner, Rob Marlowe, Debbie Manns, Madison Starkey, Jeff Starkey and Dylan Starkey. Photo courtesy of Gary Gann.

State Funds Used To Restore Historic Florida Hotel

Restoration efforts have begun on the historic Hacienda Hotel in New Port Richey, Florida. Once finished, the boutique hotel will feature 31 guest rooms, multiple banquet rooms and a possible restaurant.


Kayla Gilligan, 11, serves strawberry shortcakes at the second annual Strawberry Festival in Ocala. Gilligan, who attends Howard Middle School, says volunteering for Habitat for Humanity is fun, knowing that it helps toward making a difference in the community she lives.

Marion Strawberry Festival Is Sweet For Habitat For Humanity

Marion County held its second annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday. All proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity in order to help build homes for the Belleview community.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments