Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

August 21, 2013

Rivers Rise

Withlacoochee River enters minor flood stage, Little River nears it

VALDOSTA — Following days of rain, area rivers entered or neared flood stages Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, the Withlacoochee River moved past the 15-feet requirement for a minor flood stage to 16.55 feet by afternoon. The minor flooding could be seen at the Staten Road Bridge and on Highway 122 near Skipper Bridge Road.

“Based on previous history, the only area expected to be impacted at this level is Langdale Park and Hyta Mederer Drive leading into it,” said Ashley Tye, Lowndes County emergency management director.

The river should crest Tuesday tonight and drop back below flood level today, according to the National Weather Service forecast.

“The moderate flood stage of 22 feet is the level at which we have historically seen water begin to enter structures. At this time, the NWS does not anticipate the river reaching anywhere close to that level, but any future rainfall could alter the forecast,” Tye said.

The Little River reached the action stage Tuesday, but it is not expected to enter the minor flood stage.

“Just as with the Withlacoochee, we will need to monitor this river closely as additional rainfall over the next few days could change that,” Tye said.

While the forecast calls for the Little and Withlacoochee rivers to recede, making long-term forecasts is more difficult.

“Flooding is something you have to be prepared for, constantly,” said Lowndes County Clerk Paige Dukes. “The best thing citizens can do is be aware of their surroundings and be signed up for Code Red.”

Code Red is the county-wide alert system, serving to notify residents in affected areas about any man-made or natural disasters. Residents can sign up for it for free at www.lowndescounty.com

The NWS offers real-time monitoring of local river levels at water.weather.gov

In the event of flooding, Valdosta citizens can call the utilities department to report flooded streets, downed power lines, downed trees and anything affecting the drainage system. (229) 259-3592 (day); or 333-1832 (night).

Citizens can also call the Valdosta Police Department to report malfunctioning traffic lights at (229) 242-2606.

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