April 10, 2009


Hamilton County Sheriff Harrell Reid said Thursday that 75 to 80 homes have been affected by flooding there and about 100 people have been rescued. Director of Emergency Management Henry Land said Wednesday that at least 50 homes had been destroyed by fast-rising floodwaters.

Officials with the Hamilton Emergency Operations Center and other local and state agencies have provided rescue efforts for those trapped in their homes and property due to flooding conditions. "It took a big jump overnight," said Reid of the rising waters.

Senior Ranger Robert Marvin of the Forestry Division aided in the efforts. He helped rescue one resident from her home, located west of Jasper near the Withlacoochee. The water was up to the door. During rescue efforts, Marvin saw three sinkholes open up. "One of them swallowed a hay baler," he said.

Reid said the EOC has been at Level 1 since Sunday afternoon, meaning the center has been staffed 24 hours a day, and that while the Withlacoochee River has fallen, the Alapaha is slowly continuing to rise.

Numerous roads and bridges remain closed as of Thursday morning, but Sheriff's Deputy Marvin Page said the bridges at SR 6 and CR 150 reopened Wednesday.

Reid said a State Emergency Response Team is assessing the situation. Hamilton County officials are requesting relief from the federal government.

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