Myakka River crests tonight, geologists say river moving at record speed

The river is rising quickly in Venice, deluging streets.

VENICE, Fla. -- The Myakka River is hours away from cresting at 10.2 feet around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, 4 inches below what’s expected, but homeowners say it won’t make much of a difference.

Homeowners say the water ranges from 3 to 10 feet deep in some spots

Brentwood Drive off South Moon Drive looks like a river. Mailboxes are in water several feet deep, the river has meshed with yards and homes have turned into islands.

“This is a good one,” says Adam Miller. He’s lived along the Myakka River since 1990 and now he has water in his home “Eighteen inches in the garage,6 to 7 in the house.”  

His family knows the drill. “We had time to put everything up to the top stories.  To get dried out takes a couple of days.”

“This is the fifth flood in 32 years,” says Richard Landis Sr. He isn’t concerned about the rising water. “Something like that does not bother me.”

 It does bother some homeowners new to the neighborhood, though.

“Wow! Wow! I hope it doesn’t get in my place. It’s a foot away,” says one woman walking through the water back to her home.

Despite the water being inches from entering her home she has no regrets living along the river.

“Never! Talk to me when it’s over and I do all the cleanup.  

“We just moved in a month and a half ago … this is all new to us!” says Shannon Fowler.

She says her house sits high but maybe not high enough.

“It’s up to our pool … a lot of homes have water coming in already.

The water is rising fast: about four inches an hour.

It’s coming up so fast even geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey are studying the water flow.

“This is the highest flow seen here ever recorded at Myakka River," Michael Ludwig with the USGS says. 

Just how fast is the river flowing?

“Five feet per second," Ludwig says. "That’s 6,000 cubic feet per second. When you think about it’s 6,000 basketballs going fast at one time in one second…it’s a lot of water,” says Ludwig. He adds, “A lot of rain fell in a short period of time.”

And it’s certainly more river front than the Fowler family counted on.

"We knew there was a chance, but not this soon.”

 

    

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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