Category Archives: Weather

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.

FERC requires Sabal Trail report mixing of Randy Dowdy’s subsoil and topsoil

Bad news doubled for the little pipeline that cried wolf: FERC did not file any certificates today for Sabal Trail, and Brooks County farmer Randy Dowdy is vindicated with a letter from FERC demanding a plan from Sabal Trailwithin 20 days” (emphasis in the original) for “for investigating the actual extent of the topsoil and subsoil mixing on the Dowdy and Robinson properties and the reported mixing on the Jones property.”

Sabal Trail through Randy Dowdy fields and Little Creek, Google Map
Map: Google, of Sabal Trail pipeline through Randy Dowdy’s soybean fields, next to Little Creek, which runs into Okapilco Creek, into the Withlacoochee River, into the Suwannee, to the Gulf.

That letter refers to an inspection report of November 14, 2017, also filed by FERC today, that documents that “topsoil and subsoil mixing has occurred in agricultural areas during construction of Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC’s (Sabal Trail) Sabal Trail Pipeline Project.”

FERC has thus validated Continue reading

FERC rubberstamps FSEIS, FPL backstops, GA Rep Debbie Buckner and Sierra Club object 2018-02-05

In less than three hours since I submitted the WWALS motion to deny Sabal Trail’s sketchy request for emergency certificates, four more major filings appeared: FERC rubberstamped a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS), FPL cheered on the so-called emergency request, Georgia State Rep. Debbie Buckner objected, and Sierra Club objected. Sabal Trail said it best:

The Commission should decline the Applicants’ invitation to subvert the Court’s determination that the Project cannot operate pending compliance with NEPA.

Cover page, FSEIS

FERC rubberstamps Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS)

Continue reading

Sabal Trail to Gulfstream, Martin County, and where? 2018-01-18

Sabal Trail ramped up the last couple of days, to 196 thousand Dekatherms/day (MDTH/day) today. Most of that they’re shipping out to Gulfstream at Osceola. with a bit through FSC to FPL’s Martin County power plant, and the rest somewhere.

Why now? During the last cold spell, they spiked briefly in the first week of January, but dropped back to zero while there was snow on the ground in Florida.

So what are they up to now?

This month (2018-01-01 -- 2018-01-18), TIMELY

From the various pipeline’s FERC-required daily postings, Gulfstream shows Continue reading