Monday, April 13, 2009

The Powerful Flood

Mother Nature almost succeeded in sinking this vacation for us. First, there were torrential rains just before we left that fell over southern Georgia and northern Florida. This water ended up inundating the various river systems, slowly working its way downstream and flooding the lowlands. Fortunately for us, it took a few days to reach the campground we were using at Manatee Springs State Park. In addition to the rain, it got unbelievably cold for this part of Florida at this time of the year. One night the temperature reached freezing! No swimming for us that day!

One of the more unfortunate results of the flooding was that all of the first magnitude springs along the Suwanee River ended up "going dark". That is the river level rose above that of the head springs so that all of the beautiful, fresh, clear waters were overtaken and blotted out by the tannin-rich waters of the Suwanee. Alas!

But we enjoyed the springs while we could. Manatee was still high enough above the level of the Suwanee so that it remained clear the whole of our time there. However, after we left, the river did overtop the spring and the park was closed until the flooding ends. As I write this, the park will be closed for at least a few more weeks.

Fanning Springs the day we arrived in the vicinity. Clear and beautiful.

A few days later, the Suwanee River inundated it and turned it dark.

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