Most of the time the Chipola River is an enjoyable place to explore by boat, tubing, swimming or all three. The river winds it way to the Dead Lakes to empty in the Apalachicola River then on to the Gulf of Mexico. But after four days of heavy rain, it becomes a dangerous place to be.
The streams up river are swollen and rushing toward the Chipola River to empty its heavy load of rain. The rising swift muddy water of the river grabs what is not tied down. Trees are ripped from their resting place and carried toward the Gulf. Many homes are flooded unless they were built high on stilts and then some are not high enough. A deck ripped off of a house was seen floating down river with a picnic table still on top.
The Chipola River crested this time at 28.97 feet which is well below the record of 33.5. I have lived here since 1997 so I have seen the Chipola rise and fall many times, but when major flooding is on the way I prepare like it was my first because high flooding is nothing to play around with. In the winter you have to worry about the cold in case they turn your electricity off. In the summer the worry is snakes running for high ground. (The only kind I worry about are the poisonous snakes) Of course, a lot of the roads are closed and some can only travel by boat.