Withlacoochee expected to crest Wednesday

- It's almost like living in a fish bowl. In the Withlacoochee River, you can see tadpoles swimming around and, in Florida, there's always the danger of something bigger.

“Yeah, somebody thought they saw an alligator in there,” said Rebecca Jack, who has lived in Ridge Manor for 10 years.

Since Hurricane Irma came plowing through the state, the Withlacoochee River - and all its creatures – have been creeping up on people's homes.

“We worry about the dogs coming out here,” said Jack. “Big Lucy came out and came inside limping. Something had bitten her. I was hoping it wasn't a snake.”

The home Jack shares with her boyfriend is now surrounded by water, and whatever lives in it.

“Towards the shed, and all in the front here,” Jack said. “That's what the sandbags are for, so they don't start ruining things in the shed.”

Forecasters expect the Withlacoochee River to crest Wednesday night at 17.7 feet. That’s 5.7 feet above flood stage.  Water levels will start dropping early Saturday morning – but it will be weeks before there is any relief.

After the water recedes, new problems may arise. Septic tanks are already a concern.

“And the fact that my dog's in it. When she's running around, she'll drink the water in it,” explained Christopher Fewox, Jack's boyfriend. "You worry about getting cut on your foot and then getting some kind of bacteria infection in your feet.”

A shelter has been set up for those still displaced by the flood waters. It’s at the Enrichment Center, located at 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd. in Brooksville.

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