Possible Contamination Leads to Fish Kill as The Withlacoochee River Continues to Rise
REGIONAL – The Withlacoochee River continues to rise to levels not seen since the 2004 storm season and emergency officials say it isn’t expected to crest until sometime on Wednesday. At this time, the river is at approximately 17 feet and should crest at about 17.5 feet by Wednesday, according to officials.
Over the last several days, emergency personnel have gone door to door to warn residents of the rising waters but a large number of people still refuse to leave. There are already reports of residents being rescued by boat, after the river flooded their homes and cut off escape routes by land.
RNRF toured the Ridge Manor area today, where we observed several flooded homes, pastures, roadways.
Officials warned of the possibility that septic systems could contaminate wells and surrounding flood waters, and there is already a strong odor of sewage emitting from the river.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are currently investigating a fish kill that occurred today in the area of Turner Camp Road. According to FWC, the investigation is ongoing and at this point in time, it is too soon to determine the cause of the dead fish.
Due to the ongoing post-Irma disaster, Hernando County Officials have extended a state of emergency for another seven days.
For information on FEMA emergency assistance, follow this link: www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/09/16/4337/what-expect-when-you-register-fema-disaster-assistance
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