Record-breaking Flood Surges Down Florida River

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A massive water wall churned its way down Florida's Suwannee River earlier this year, making this one of the biggest flood seasons ever for that state. Now we've got images of the Florida rivers that ate farms and roads.


The U.S. geological survey was on the scene earlier this year when watered-swollen rivers pouring into the Suwannee flooded rural parts of the state. They took measurements in flooded state parks, and from the tops of bridges that were being lapped by the floodwaters.


According to a release from the USGS:

The Withlacoochee River at Pinetta reached a new record height on midnight of April 7. USGS measured the peak height at 41.34 feet, the highest the river had been measured in 77 years of records. The previous record for the river's height was set in the 1948 flood, when the river reached a height of 38.64 feet.

"The discharge measurement at the Withlacoochee River near Pinetta was a major priority for the National Weather Service, because they needed data to forecast the downstream flooding on the Suwannee River at Ellaville," said USGS hydrologist Richard Verdi.

The magnitude of the flow in the Withlacoochee for April 7 indicates an approximate 2% chance of occurrence any year. Preliminary data indicate the peak discharge was 56,100 cubic feet per second, which indicates that the volume of water flowing through the river was at the second highest in the period of record. In the 1948 flood, the discharge was higher, at 79,400 cubic feet per second.


You can watch Florida's flood season progress in real time via this map.

Images via Rachel Pawlitz, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission