Jackson County officials got a bit of good news Thursday. The waters in the Chipola River in Marianna are starting to go down.
Wednesday, the river crested above flood stage, a result of heavy rains last week, but county officials still felt the need to declare a local state of emergency.
Ferrel Taylor has lived along the Chipola River for over 20 years. After the flood in 98, he decided to move his house to higher ground. As he looks at some of his neighbors’ homes, it reminds him of what an inconvenience living near the river can be.
Ferrel says, "I had to travel by boat. When I worked for the Sheriff's Office, I had to park my patrol car up here an get in my boat and go home.
The Chipola River measured at 18.5 Wednesday, which is just below flood level, but recent forecast have prompted county officials to declare a local state of emergency.
Rodney Andreasen, Jackson County EOC Director, says, "What we're afraid of is that we're going to have some additional rains and our river is already swollen. We want to make sure that if we do have this additional rain that we have this local state of emergency in place in case we have to request state resources."
This home may be on stilts, but with its close proximity to the river and forecasted rains, the people that live here maybe wading to their doorstep.
As for Ferrel, as long as the ground is high, he knows there's a better chance of his home staying dry.
"I'm not going back near that river. It's beautiful when it's not raining. When it rains you got to boat travel."
The local state of emergency gives county officials the ability to open a shelter in the event of an evacuation.