Flood Stages & Crests

Flood Stage

Flood Waters Rising in the TreesA flood stage is the water level at which some type of physical or economic hardship occurs along a river. It does not necessarily mean that water is over the banks of the river.

Flood stages are established by the National Weather Service based on input from the community and local emergency managers.

The District does not set flood stages, but we will support requests by local emergency managers to the National Weather Service.

Flood Crest or Rise To

A "crest" is the level at which a river peaks before it goes down. Forecasters may issue a "rise to" prediction if they're not yet sure how high a river will crest. "Rise to" means the river is expected to reach a certain level but could crest at an even higher level later on.

The Suwannee River Water Management District gets its crest predictions from the National Weather Service. These predictions are posted, along with river levels, on the District's Crests and Predictions page and on the Crests and Predictions page of National Weather Service during times of flooding or high water.

A toll-free recording at 800-604-2272 also provides the same information.

How Fast Will the River Go Down?

Rivers fall more slowly than they rise. How fast a river will fall after cresting depends on rainfall, wind and temperatures.

If more rain falls, the river could rise and crest again. Wind and high temperatures assist in evaporation of surface water and may speed the decline.

It is difficult to accurately predict when a river will be back to normal.

Information or Help Regarding Flooded Roads

Many access roads become impassable even before rivers reach flood stage. If you're worried about your home, and expect you may need to gain access to it, be sure to contact your county emergency management coordinator.