LIVE OAK, FL, September 14, 2012 – The City of Live Oak recognized the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) on Sept. 11 for assistance in resolving flooding problems during Tropical Storm Debby.
“By 10:30 p.m. on June 25, we knew this was not a normal tropical storm when many businesses downtown were left under water and countless City residents had to evacuate their homes due to rising waters,” said Live Oak City Administrator Bob Farley. “That was when the District stepped in to offer assistance.”
Tropical Storm Debby dropped more than 20 inches of rain across North Florida during the last week of June, resulting in significant widespread flooding within the District.
Some areas in the City of Live Oak had 6 to 8 feet of standing water and many of the City’s retention ponds had begun to overflow their banks.
The District arranged to have the Southwest Florida Water Management District deliver pumps and discharge hoses to relieve flooding inside the City. The District also worked with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to get approval to utilize the stormwater and sanitary sewer systems to drain flooded areas and treat the water at the City’s wastewater treatment plant. The plant’s effluent was treated to drinking water standards and discharged to White Lake approximately 5 miles outside the City limits.
In total, more 33 million gallons of treated wastewater and stormwater was sent to White Lake and 395 million gallons of stormwater was dispersed through various stormwater outlets within the City.
Live Oak Mayor Garth R. “Sonny” Nobles said the storm had such a profound effect on the City, one that was unprecedented since Hurricane Dora left folks paddling boats through the City limits in 1964.
“We are truly grateful for the District’s willingness to help us resolve the problem,” Nobles said.
“When disaster strikes a community, we should all work together to solve the community’s needs,” said District Governing Board Chairman Don Quincey. “The District was pleased to step in and help its neighbor.”