Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Flooding On The Suwannee

A surly, swirly, Suwannee slides swiftly seaward.

Yesterday, as promised, I took the JEEP into the flood zone of the Suwannee River. Most of my day was spent in Gilchrist county, along it's many backroads, some dirt, some paved, some flooded.
My plan was pretty simple.
Using my DeLorme Florida map book, I visited boatramps and bridges, seeking evidence of the rising waters.

The scene above was later in the day in the town of Branford. I'm standing (with half the population of Branford) on the bridge over the Suwannee River.
Where I am standing is just about the normal edge of the river, the water you see extending along highway 27 is flooded floodplain.

(You see, that's why they call it a floods, so if you build a house, a business, or a farm in it, you should expect to be flooded ... I do not believe you should expect to be bailed out with federal flood insurance, but I guess the taxpayers feel differently from me)

I used my odometer to check how far west the flood waters extended and it was almost a mile from the foot of the bridge.

This place was living on the edge. The river isn't finished rising, so I suppose it's going to be wet inside, if it isn't already. The river's "normal" shore is far out from this building and the boatramp next to it was completely submerged.

A little collage of the wet scenery yesterday. It stayed grey and blustery all day, but today is chilly, clear, and sunny.
I have some errands to run, some taxes to e-file, and then, rumor has it that I will be kayaking with a fishing pole in my hand.
Have you heard that rumor?
Could it be true?
Dang, I hope so.

Blatant self-promotion department: There's a sweet little baby gator video over at PureAlligator today.


threecollie said...


Sayre said...

We had similar scenes at the Ocklocknee last week. Someone had put a doublewide between the forks and it was up to its eaves in muddy water. Now THAT'S gonna be some serious cleanup!

Lynn said...

I agree on the floodplains. People don't find out if the development they like is on a floodplain or not and get mad when it is.


FC, one way of thinking about it is that a river's floodplain is actually a part of the river, it's just where the water is not, usually, at that particular time. In general, over a 800-900 year span, the river, the water, will move from one side of its floodplain to the other. And then back.

Co-incidently?, it takes about the same amount of time, 800-900 years, for a forest to climax.


SophieMae said...

That's some kinda WET! I'm so glad we made it down there and back with no detours.

Check out my Withlacoochee pic(s) tomorrow. 8-]

Floridacracker said...

Very, and yet my pond is not!

And it's never the same after a thorough wetting.

How true. They buy in drought times and then are shocked.

That's the way I see it too. We tend to think on a short human scale and therefore think of the average river water level as what it shoudl be all the time.

Will do!

robin andrea said...

Nice pics. I always like wild weather. When we lived in a flood zone in California (1995-2003), we paid a national flood insurance bill every year. I thought it was required of all crazy people who buy homes with a beautiful creek in the backyard.

Hurricane Teen said...

We were at White Springs on Sunday (also with half the population) gazing out at the river. Quite a sight, for sure.

Tyrone Nold said...

What building is that close to the river? There are no homes in that area right? That's a really scary scenario. It might not look as scary in the picture but knowing that you’re close to a river can be disturbing.

Tyrone Nold