On Sunday, January 9, the St. Mary’s River at Foster Park was running high, but it was receding and there wasn’t much cause for concern. January precipitation usually comes in the way of snowfall.
Then the weather turned unseasonably warm and the rain started. By Wednesday, January 12 the St. Mary’s was at 15.85 feet and rising. The Mayor was calling for volunteer sandbaggers and gave their location; Broadview Florist on Winchester Road, Southwest Conservation Club on Bluffton Road, Mungovan Chiropractic on Tillman Road, and Taylor University on Rudisill Blvd.
Foster Park was closed and a few of the park workers were wading around the tennis courts in boots.
On Thursday, January 13, the Mayor issued a State of Emergency due to flooding. The unseasonably warm weather was creating a lot of run-off due to melting snow and ice, and the rain just wouldn’t let up. The river level was 18.14 feet. Residents in Waynedale were taking precautions to keep their properties safe.
By Friday, the residents of Belle Vista became concerned. Pumps were keeping the water levels down in the sewers, but water in the Fairfield Ditch was within a couple of feet of the flood of ’03. Sandbags had been placed along Winchester Road, across the Belle Vista Bridge…then the weather turned cold again and water levels held steady.
Saturday, January 15, the rivers and creeks had stabilized at 21.4 feet…flood stage is 14 feet. The sandbags and pumps were removed as the flood waters had stayed just below the deck and the roads were re-opened.
A bitter cold snap has frozen much of the high water, leaving a lot of interesting scenes.
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