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Flooding in Leon County

By: Marise Estime
By: Marise Estime

Heavy rainfall over the weekend has caused the Ochlocknee River to rise, and now parts of Fairbanks Ferry Road are flooded.

Leon County officials have closed off the road as a precautionary measure, but some folks aren't taking heed.

Lexie Bethea and a group of folks who live on Fairbanks Ferry Court are taking advantage of Mother Nature’s downpour by fishing in the overflow of the Ochlocknee River, but just a few feet away from them the water has flooded Fairbanks Ferry Road, but that hasn't stopped motorists from driving through.

Lexie Bethea says, "I wouldn't do it because you can go into the river. It's enough water to drown a person or put you right in, as you see the sign, people been going through the signs. They're moving them back, they're tearing things down just to get through; it's just a hazard.”

It’s a hazard that could pose a threat to nearby homes and to unsuspecting drivers.

Rendell Rochelle, who lives near the flooded area, says, "Just yesterday after I heard a pop, a car skidded and hit that guard rail and [an] ambulance came. The woman had [a] head injury and everything, so it's a dangerous situation."

The National Weather Center is predicting we will see four inches of rain this coming Friday and Sunday, and that could cause the river to flood even more.

Joel Lanier, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, says, "Folks like to cut across County Road 12 to go to one part of the county to another. You're going to have to have a long trip, because I suspect this road is going to be under water for a long time."

So to protect other motorists, one of the residents is putting the signs to warn folks of the danger that lies ahead. Emergency management officials are monitoring the situation closely, but so far no homes are in any danger.


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