Withlacoochee River expected to crest later this week

- Vallie jones has watched the water rise outside her trilby home for the past week.

"I feel sick. It's what it is," she said. "I feel really sick."

The Withlacoochee River sits in her backyard on Cedley road. Flood stage is at 12 feet. Monday afternoon, the river stood at 17.25 feet, more than five feet above flood stage.

Jones' neighbors two doors down left after water seeped into their home.

"They said they lost everything," Jones said. 

Despite the advice from Hernando county government officials, jones stayed behind with the river water rising in her backyard.

"My whole livelihood is here," she explained. "If it goes, I want to see it."

It could be weeks before jones knows exactly how much damage has been done.

"It’s expected to crest on Wednesday, but that doesn't mean it will immediately start to recede," said Cecilia Patella, Emergency Management Director for Hernando County. "That could take several days after the crest for it to recede to a level where the area becomes accessible again."

Fortunately for Jones, her home sits high enough above sea level that her home should be okay. She won't breathe easy until she sees the water level outside her steps go down.

"It is probably tougher than you can imagine being 76 years old and this is your livelihood," she said.

"I still have hope. I think god will take care of us."
Monday, the Hernando county emergency management announced it extended its local state of emergency for another week.

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