Tropical Storm Elsa gave Hernando County a good soaking last week, but there was no flooding according to the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD). As a result, all SWFWMD-managed campgrounds and properties to include trails and day use areas throughout the county reopened to the public on Friday, July 9.
According to SWFWMD meteorologists, Elsa began her trek through Hernando County late the evening of July 6 and continued through the night until heading northward on July 7.
In the three days from July 6 through July 8, a total of 4.2 inches of rain fell on Hernando County. That’s in addition to the 9.85 total inches reported in June.
Even so, river levels including at the Withlacoochee River are actually below those recorded during storms in 2017 and 2004, SWFWMD said.
“Prior to Tropical Storm Elsa river levels were rising due to above average rainfall in June, but they were still several feet below flood stage,” SWFWMD meteorologists said. “Elsa only brought a few inches of rain to the region, not enough to cause any significant flooding along the Withlacoochee River.”
Though high water conditions along the Withlacoochee River in Hernando County are currently still several feet below flood stage, whether flooding will take place later this summer remains to be seen.
“The region has received above average rainfall so far this summer (June-July) – That previous rainfall, along with additional rainfall from Elsa, has increased river levels and flows higher than they normally are this time of year,” the SWFWMD meteorologists said. “Although no flooding is projected for now, additional rainfall this summer will continue to raise river levels and flooding is always possible if the area receives enough rain.”
Hurricane season in Florida continues until Nov. 30.