Major flooding certain….disastrous flooding possible
By Sid Riley
A special meeting of the Jackson County Commission was called at noon on Monday, March 30, 2009 for the purpose of hearing a briefing from Emergency Operations Director, Rodney Andreasen, regarding the flooding which was occurring as a result of last week’s storms, and the potential problems we might face if forecasted storms also add to the existing problems.
The last major flooding of the Chipola River occurred in 1975, when the river’s water level rose to 27 feet. As a result of last week’s rains, the Chipola is projected to crest at near 23 feet. That level has already caused numerous road closings, and has flooded low laying properties throughout the county. The real threat is in future storms which are scheduled to begin impacting our weather on Wednesday and Thursday. If these storms duplicate the weather we just experienced, the Chipola would become a real threat to many areas of Jackson County.
In order to qualify for FEMA assistance, should this situation actually occur, our county must already be under a declared state of local emergency. Thus, in order to assure our county is eligible for these funds and assistance, our officials have taken the precaution of declaring a 7 day state of emergency for Jackson County. Let us all hope this was only a precautionary step and is not actually needed.