Bipolar State: Flooding, Drought 200 Miles Apart
I was about to post this in "It's the end of the World I tell Ya"...
Flooding in North Florida threatens motorists' travel plans
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
1054 PM EDT THU APR 09 2009
...A DANGEROUS FLOOD IS FORECAST TO OCCUR ON THE SUWANNEE...
WITHLACOOCHEE...AND ALAPAHA RIVERS INCLUDING THE SANTA FE...OVER
...THIS MAJOR FLOOD EVENT COMPARES WITH AND MAY EXCEED THE 1973 FLOOD
AND THE 1948 ALL TIME RECORD FLOOD...
...MAJOR FLOODING ALSO CONTINUES ALONG THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER NEAR
PINETTA AFFECTING MADISON COUNTY FLORIDA AND MINOR FLOODING CONTINUES
ALONG THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER NEAR VALDOSTA AFFECTING LOWNDES
Flooding and a forecast of possible showers are threatening Easter travel plans in the Florida panhandle and state's northern counties.
Today the state shut down portions of three highways near the Georgia border – State Road 6 just west of County Road 143; State Road 145 at the Georgia line; and U.S. 41 at the Alapaha River in Jennings, Fla. The highways are north of Interstate 10.
On Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency for several North Florida counties – Alachua, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy and Suwanee.
The National Weather Service predicts parts of the Suwanee River in North Florida will reach flood stage the next few days. As a result, the state also anticipates having to close I-10 and U.S. 90 where they cross the river in Suwanee County. The highways are the main east-west routes into Tallahassee.
Motorists can take U.S. 19 to the state's capital, although that highway crosses the Suwanee, as well, in Levy County.
"Unfortunately we haven't seen it crest yet," Ken Gould, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, said Wednesday.
He recommended avoiding highways near the river from the end of this week through early next week. There's a chance of thunderstorms in the Tallahassee area Friday night through Sunday, potentially compounding the flooding, the weather service said.
From the Tampa Tribune
Drought Index...Blue/Dark Green is very, very wet...Pink/Dark Red is very, very dry!
...on the Dry Side....
Managers say the reservoir has run dry
TAMPA - The C.W. Bill Young Reservoir covers 1,100 acres and can hold up to 15 billion gallons of water.
Managers say it has run dry.
"From a water supply standpoint, it is, in effect, empty," according to Tampa Bay Water general manager Gerold Seeber.
The reservoir is supposed to be a major source of drinking water for the Bay Area. The fact that it's dry should come as no surprise. Late last month, the executive director of the Southwest Florida Water Management District made a dire prediction.
"This is an extreme water shortage. The Bill Young Reservoir is going to be empty in two or three weeks. Our two major rivers are at historic lows for this time of year," David Moore said.
Moore made that prediction shortly after the SWFWMD board voted against imposing Phase 4 water use restrictions.
The big question is, what happens now? The Bill Young Reservoir does hold enough water to supply demand for one day. The problem is that water is either not fit for human consumption or unreachable.
"There are fish in the reservoir and there are mechanical limitations to getting the last bit out of the bottom," Seeber said.