With a week of good weather JacksonCounty road crews have been working around the clock and start work on a long list of road repairs. Flood waters are also making waves in county parks. Blue Springs is set to open Memorial Day and recent rainfall won't impact opening day. However, the spring is very full right now and diver, David Dixon from Leesburg, GA, is really feeling the effects while cave diving against the current, "It comes out of the center of the cave and it's so strong it's hard to swim against. You have to crawl or grab the wall and pull yourself in for about 30 feet before the current slacks."
According to Jackson County Park Director, Chuck Hatcher, the spring is very full right now, "I've been over the Parks for about 8 years and I have never seen it like this. I think 1948 is the last time it really flooded like it is now." Hatcher says the cave disperses averaged about 120 million gallons of water day. With recent rainfalls that total has risen to just under 200 million gallons a day.
The spring is high right now, a sign that the county is fully saturated, which is reflected in all county roads. Over 30 are still closed and as of Friday morning 40 are under water, washed out or water have running water across the road. This week’s nice weather finally allowed road crews to repair some damaged roads, but resources are limited. According to Jackson County Road and Bridge Superintendent, Al Green, top priorities are getting roads open for emergency services, residents and school buss routes, "Our aquifer is full and the water has no place to go. On roads that have receded we have tried to grade, blade just get them passable and we haven’t done a lot of fixing because we haven’t met with FEMA yet."
Friday FEMA representatives were assessing homes and private property and Monday FEMA will be back in the county assessing roads and bridges to gauge damage figures.