Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bridge Over Troubled Water


We had been planning our Easter trip to Polk County for weeks. What we did not plan was a series of rain days that flooded south Georgia and north Florida. Particularly, the Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers (which join near the state line) have risen to historic levels and are now running all out in the woods and into the homes of the folks who live in the area.  A major U.S. highway (90) was closed due to water over the road at the Suwannee River. There was talk of closing I-10 a few miles away.

Now, there is no direct way to get to Polk County from Tallahassee without going over the Suwannee. There was talk that if all the bridges were closed, travelers might have to go to TIFTON, Georgia to get around it.  That is well over 100 miles out of the way.

By Friday morning when we left, the news was that I-10 was expected to stay open. We drove down through Perry and Cross City to Fanning Springs where U.S. 98 crosses the Suwannee. We took a break to check it out at a roadside park.

We found there was still plenty of room under the span.


A couple of local men were more than willing to talk about the situation. One said the river is rising one foot a day and that it was expected to crest one week from Easter Sunday. That time frame was encouraging for us who needed to come back over the same bridge in two days.

The river was flowing pretty fast, and logs and trees were washing downstream.


Some were hung up on the floating dock we walked on and many more were getting caught in the bridge supports.


Also noticeable on the bridge supports were water level stains, which indicated that it was a good thing the river was starting out at a lower level to begin with.


I took more pictures when we returned and the log jam was definitely bigger and the river was flowing faster.


The river had probably risen the predicted two feet from looking at the bank.

1 comment:

ML said...

Glad you made it to Polk County! (Without having to go through Tifton.) We went down for the day Easter Sunday. Maybe one of your trips, we can try to get together. I know it's harder because we're both busy doing family stuff, but it would be nice to see you again.