Category Archives: Weather

Hurricane Michael, Albany to Tifton 2018-10-11

Driving back from a long-scheduled conference in Alabama, from the state line to Tifton was widespread damage from Hurricane Michael. Nothing like the devastation on the Gulf coast, of course, but very unusual for inland Georgia.

[Traffic light repair 15:20:18, 31.6363489, -84.2473075]
Traffic light repair 15:20:18, 31.6363489, -84.2473075

We saw plenty of downed power lines, so don’t be surprised if everybody is power is not back everywhere for a while.

Hurricanes apparently aren’t good at obeying speed limit signs. Continue reading

Low water in Suwannee River Basin with Hurricane Michael 2018-10-11

Thursday morning, the day after Hurricane Michael passed by to the west and north of the Suwannee River Basin, only Gopher River and the New River gauge near Lake Butler were in Action Stage.

Gulf to Atlantic, After Gauges

Does a place that nearly floods even when a hurricane is a hundred miles west of it seem like a good location for the HPS II phosphate mine, in Union and Bradford Counties, Florida ? Continue reading

Bradford BOCC 2018-09-04

All the public speakers were against the phosphate mine. Before the Commissioners decided, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson spoke about rain, the Chemours mine, and how what Bradford County does affects her business downstream. (I think Stasia Rudolph also spoke before I got there.) After some confusion on timing, afterwards Marc Lyons reminded them Citizens Against Phosphate Mines (CAPM) is ready to sue, and Kate Ellison said she hopes this means we will all see the consultant’s report before the public hearings. I sent a letter and a resolution the previous day and gave them paper copies.

The actual decision was much better than expected. While some Commissioners wanted to hold Continue reading

Suwannee tributaries flooding 2018-08-07

Once again, as during Hurricane Irma, recent rains are causing flooding on Suwannee River tributaries.

Suwannee River Basin, Map

The Withlacoochee River at Skipper Bridge and at US 41 (North Valdosta Road) is in Near Flood Stage, as is the Suwannee River at Fargo, and the New River near Lake Butler.

Already in Minor Flooding are Continue reading

Hurricane Season Open House by Lowndes County, GA EMA 2018-07-26

Tropical Storm Alberto already caused two sewage spills from Tifton, the biggest of 36,000 gallons, both into the New River upstream from the Withlacoochee, and Valdosta spilled 300,000 gallons last month, uphill from the Withlacoochee River, without even a tropical storm to blame. So preparing for a hurricane or tropical storm seems like a good idea. Maybe the various utility managers would like to say a few words about how they’re not going to be asleep at the wheel.

When: 6-8PM, Thursday, July 26, 2018

Where: 250 Douglas St, Valdosta, GA 31601-5029

Event: facebook

Join local emergency responders and Meteorologist Kerri Copello, News Manager for WFXL/Fox 31, for a tour of the EOC and an informational session on the 2018 Hurricane Season to include preparedness information.

Lowndes County EOC facebook event cover picture
Lowndes County EOC facebook event cover picture

More in a LAKE blog post.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Valdosta rainbarrels to reduce runoff

Gretchen got a rainbarrel from the City of Valdosta, I got some concrete blocks, we set the barrel on the blocks and connected it to a PVC pipe from a raingutter. In about 20 minutes of rain, the 50-gallon rainbarrel was full. We don’t even live in Valdosta, but rainbarrels are also about preventing sewage spills; read on.

City of Valdosta Stormwater Division, Raining
Photograph: John S. Quarterman at Okra Paradise Farms, Lowndes County, Georgia.

Within an hour we had a hose hooked up and we used some of the water in transplanting trees.

Video, more pictures, and more links to materials from the city of Valdosta and the state of Georgia on a separate LAKE blog post.

Part of Valdosta’s incentive for this Stormwater Education Outreach can be inferred from Continue reading

Randy Dowdy calls for independent investigation of Sabal Trail soil mixing 2018-03-06

Dear pipeline companies: if you gouge through a rock-star farmer’s world-record-holding soybean fields, you may find he gets national coverage.

Bryan Mitchell, March 6, 2018 08:16 AM, AgWeb powered by Farm Journal, Pipeline Nightmare: Randy Dowdy Calls For Independent Investigation,

Randy Dowdy’s soil death is no mystery, insists the Georgia producer, and now a federal inspection report appears to back his claims of soil damage on record-breaking farmland due to pipeline construction. A letter (Feb. 6) from the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) to the Sabal Trail Pipeline Project describes “topsoil and subsoil mixing” on Dowdy’s farming operation, yet significantly does not address issues of noncompliance.

GA-BR-029.000 Dowdy south field, Little Creek, MP 217, 1657-PL-DG-70197-219,, Dowdy parcel 053 00161 Brooks County, GA
GA-BR-029.000 Dowdy south field, Little Creek, MP 217, 1657-PL-DG-70197-219, 30.9439700, -83.6154600

Dowdy signed Continue reading

Yes, we’re paddling from Hagen Bridge on the Withlacoochee River 2018-02-10-11

Overcast and a small chance of drizzle won’t stop us: yes, we’re paddling from Hagan Bridge to Franklinville on the Withlacoochee River, 10 AM Sunday, February 11, 2018. Follow the link for details.

Movie: Which way to go? (16M)
Pictures by Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS, between Hagan Bridge and Franklinville, Withlacoochee River 2013-04-20.

More: For more outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

It’s a Go for this weekend’s outings 2018-02-10-11

Update 2018-02-10: And it’s a go for Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee Sunday morning!

Definitely for today’s Five Holes Cleanup at the Suwannee River, and probably for tomorrow’s Hagan Bridge Withlacoochee River paddle (stay tuned for final word on that one).

5 Holes Clean Up at the Suwannee River
Outings Chair Phil Hubbard says: “We are a GO for the clean up at 5 Holes for this afternoon at 3 PM.”
Five Holes is also known as Seven Sisters Spring; see also Pictures by Alan Cressler from 2008.

Movie: Its cold! in Five Holes (23M)
Pictures by John S. Quarterman for WWALS at Five Holes, Suwannee River, 2015-08-15.

Withlacoochee River Paddle from Hagan Bridge to Franklinville Road
Phil says: “Like wise, as of the 8 AM forecast we should be a GO for the paddle outing tomorrow with a 25% chance that of now appears to be decreasing during the midday and increasing after sunset. However we shall revisit this one again this afternoon before making a final decision.”
More good news: Continue reading

Rain and this weekend’s outings 2018-02-10-11

Update 2018-02-10: And it’s a go for Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River Sunday morning!

Update 2018-02-10: It’s a Go for Five Holes, and probably for Hagan Bridge.

Even the rain likes the weekend. Multiple weather forecasts show chances of rain ranging from 40% to 100% this weekend. Rain is not the best time to be clambering up and down steep slopes at Five Holes, and a thunderstorm is not a good time to be paddling the Withlacoochee River from Hagan Bridge. But we don’t want to call it early, because then both days would for sure be sunny.