Tracking the Tropics
Tropical system lifts water level in Ga. swamp
FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) -- Tropical Depression Beryl was raising hopes in the Okefenokee Swamp that boat and canoe traffic could get back to normal with higher water levels.
Within the past three days, three rain gauges in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge had recorded rainfall totals of 3.75 inches to nearly 6 inches, The Florida Times-Union reported (http://bit.ly/LFbnDD ).
On May 24, the swamp was at 118.68 feet above sea level at the refuge headquarters but 119.14 feet Tuesday with rain still falling.
"It's bound to make some difference," said Arthur Webster, supervisory ranger at the refuge.
Webster said he'd like to see the water level reach 120 feet. The extra foot would allow the refuge to reopen some canoe trails and allow the refuge get its trail cutter into canals to clear them of vegetation so boats can get through, Webster said.
At its strongest, Beryl may have toppled some trees across the trails in the swamp, but that won't be known until rangers can check them out, Webster said.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)