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Flooding fears rise with rain

More rain is expected this week after as much as a half-foot fell during the weekend.

By ALEX LEARY, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 23, 2002


INVERNESS -- Parts of Citrus County received up to 6 inches of rain during the weekend, according to the National Weather Service, raising concerns about flooding.

"If the pattern keeps going, you worry about high standing water," said meteorologist Barry Goldsmith. "We're not there yet, but we're keeping an eye on it."

The downpours Friday, Saturday and Sunday were accompanied by wind and lightning and made for treacherous driving.

Inverness was hit the hardest with between 4 and 6 inches falling during the three-day period. It rained again Monday, but nothing like the previous days.

Floral City received between 2 and 4 inches, while Crystal River got between 1 and 3 inches, according to National Weather Service data.

More rain is expected this week. "All the moisture seems to be converging over north central Florida," said Ron Morales, also a meteorologist with the weather service.

People who live near the lake systems on the east side of Citrus County welcomed the rain but said much more is needed.

"This gives us a temporary reprieve," said Dave Starnes, a member of the Floral City-based group TOO FAR, or Taxpayers Outraged Organization For Accountable Representation, which has called attention to water issues.

"I say temporary because in no way is this rainfall really dealing with the problem, which is recharging of the aquifer. That takes a long time," he said.

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