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corner of content windowHurricane Frances News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 7, 2004
CONTACT: (850) 921-0384

State Officials Warn of Flooding Danger

--Residents urged to use caution near swollen rivers--

TALLAHASSEE— State officials continue to monitor several rivers expected to hit flood levels in the wake of Hurricane Frances. Residents along five Florida rivers are urged to use caution, avoid flooded areas and monitor their local media.

“Flooding continues to be our primary concern across areas of Florida experiencing excessive rainfall,” said state meteorologist Ben Nelson. “The feeder bands behind Frances continue to deluge rivers at or near flood stage which means we could see major flooding.”

The following rivers and locations are critical areas of concern:

Columbia County--

  • Santa Fe River near Ft. White could crest near 30 feet by Sunday (six feet above flood stage)

Hillsborough County--

  • Alafia River at Lithia could crest at 11 feet above flood stage § Little Manatee River at Wimauma could reach six feet above flood stage

Pasco County--

  • Anclote River at Elfers could reach five feet above flood stage
  • Hillsborough River at Zephyrhills could rise more than four feet above flood stage

Residents in flood prone areas should follow these safety tips:

  • Do not drive or walk into flooded roads. Just six inches of moving water can sweep an adult off their feet, and 12 inches of moving water can float an SUV. When residents encounter a flooded road, they are reminded to heed the advice of the National Weather Service and “Turn Around Don’t Drown.”
  • Do not let children play in floodwaters, as they can carry a number of contaminants including sewage, chemicals and infectious bacteria. Unseen dangers could also lie hidden beneath the water, such as downed power lines or sharp objects.
  • Watch for snakes. Most Florida snakes are not poisonous but may still bite if approached or disturbed.

Additionally, severe weather poses a threat to residents in northeast and north-central Florida. Residents should closely monitor NOAA Weather Radio and their local media. If severe weather threatens, seek shelter immediately in an interior room or closet.

For more information on flooding safety, visit www.floridadisaster.org or www.srh.noaa.gov/tadd.

For additional information on Hurricane Frances and the state’s response efforts, residents should call the Florida Emergency Information Line at 1-800-342-3557.

-30-

Last updated: July 08, 2005

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