State officers are patrolling local rivers that continue to flood over their banks. Residents were asked to evacuate. Now patrols are taking place to help protect abandoned homes from looters.
A moblie command station in Branford, FL is serving two purposes. One, to help keep people safe and two, to secure homes along the river, which have been vacated because of the flooding.
"A lot of residents along the river have had to evacuate," said Cpt. Roy Brown of the Fish and Wildlife Commission. "We want to make sure that while they're gone and when they return, they have the same property they had before they left."
Agents continually patrol the Suwanee and Sante Fe Rivers to keep an eye out for possible looters.
"It would be hard to put a number on how successful we've been and how much crimes has been prevented," said Jim Taylor of the F.D.L.E. "But we know based on experience of the 1998 flood that we've been successful."
Officers are also on the look out for boaters who violate the "No Wake Zones" because strong waves in the river could cause damage to some homes. State officials say their mission is very important because it allows sheriff's agencies to focus on their usual case loads.
"It's very important that we aid local sheriff's offices," said Brown, "Because they don't have our kind of specialized equipment and we can provide the manpower."
Crews expect to continue these patrols until the river shrinks back into the banks. Boaters are being asked to avoid the flooded rivers until the waters subside because there are many hidden hazards under the flood water.
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