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TS Fay Update 11 a.m. Saturday

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By The Staff

Emergency Management Director Mark Johnson made the call to close the shelters and drop to activation level 3 — a level that allows emergency workers and volunteers to take a break.

The shelters were opened Friday evening because of the possibility of flooding during high tide. That did not materialize, said Lt. Evan Sullivan, spokesman for the Levy County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management.

Sullivan said there was some water over roads in Yankeetown, but that is normal for the area with these weather conditions.

Sullivan said there were some power outages during the night.

He said if anyone has an emergency they can call 911, but if their problem is of a non-emergency nature to call the Sheriff's Office at 486-5111.

The Suwannee River Water Management District is keeping an eye on area flooding due to the rains dumped here by the tropical storm.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Santa Fe River near Fort White. The river is expected to go above the flood stage of 24 feet on Sunday morning and crest near 25 feet on Monday afternoon.

The National Weather Service has predicted that the Santa Fe River at Three Rivers Estates will rise to 15.5 feet Monday early afternoon. Flood stage is 19 feet. At 8:45 a.m Saturday, the river level at Three Rivers Estates was 9.0 feet. The automated gage will begin reporting when the river reaches 10.5 feet.

The rain gage and river level gage at Manatee Springs State Park are out of service. They will be repaired as soon as possible.

All river forecasts are provided by the National Weather Service, as needed during times of high water. Flood stages and predicted levels are reported in feet above mean sea level. All persons with interest along the rivers should monitor the latest forecasts and be prepared to take necessary precautions to protect life and property. Do not drive through flooded areas.

There have been some power outages in the county, Sullivan said.

A power outage in Bronson affected Perkins State Bank and forced the early closing of the Levy County Courthouse at noon Friday,

But early voting continued at the Supervisor of Elections office next door .

The elections office, on Court Street in Bronson, will be open Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to accommodate the last day of early voting.

Supervisor of Elections Connie Asbell said her office was busier than expected considering the weather.

The school board had annunced Friday's school closings on Thursday afternoon.

Levy County Commission Chairman Sammy Yearty has signed a proclamation declaring an emergency for the county. The declaration helps in qualifying the county for federal disaster money.

The county is expected to continue feeling the effects of a weakened Tropical Storm Fay through Saturday as she crawls across the state, according to the National Weather Service.. A floowarning for Levy is in effect through 8 p.m. Friday.

Lt. Evan Sullivan, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management said rainfall is expected to be between 5 to 10 inches.

Winds should be 5 to 10 miles per hour as the storm moves through, Sullivan said. He said winds were reported to be 50 mph at Cedar Key on Friday morning.

Sullivan is advising residents to:

Monitor the Weather Channel for updates.

Don't drive on flooded roads.

Be prepared with food, water and cash.

Stay out of the weather.

Sandbags are available at the following sites:

Inglis - Rischer Avenue at Inglis Police Department

Yankeetown - Hwy 40 West at Yankeetown Water Plant

Cedar Key/Rosewood - vacant lot across from grocery store

Bronson - Alt. Hwy 27 at Bronson Town Hall

Chiefland - 920 SE 4th Street at Chiefland City Barn

Williston - 54 SW Main Street at Ace Hardware

The information can also be accessed on the District's website home page at www.mysuwanneeriver.com

Quick links:

River levels: http://www.srwmd.org/realtimeriverlevels/realtimeriverlevels.asp

Flood information: http://www.mysuwanneeriver.com/index.asp?nid=253

River Flooding information from Southeast River Forecast Center: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/alr/

According to the National Weather Service, local areas to monitor closely over the next several days are on or near the Santa Fe River at Fort White, Three Rivers Estates, and the US 129 Bridge. If the area continues to receive heavy amounts of rain, the NWS predicts the Santa Fe River could approach or reach flood stage at those locations by Monday or Tuesday. Again, these are preliminary predictions. Please check back for updates once the tropical storm has passed and rain has diminished.