Holmes River Creek rises to 27 feet, sets historic record


VERNON, Fla. (WMBB)–Holmes Creek in Vernon crested at a historical high on Friday. Local emergency personnel and Vernon city staff are advising residents in impacted areas to move to higher ground as flooding is widespread around the creeks and rivers.

The creek crested at just over 27 feet which set a new record. The last historic high was recorded in 1960 when it crested just over 23 feet.

“It’s been at least 40 years, yeah 40 years,” said Frances Baxley, a Vernon resident.

At 27 feet, the creek is at the highest it’s crested since the National Weather Service began recording the river heights for this area.

“No, this is the first time I’ve seen it this high, that’s what I came down here for,” said Kenny Rowe, a Chipley resident, when asked if he has ever seen the creek this high.

Around Vernon on Friday, water could be seen crowding the roadways and overflowing into backyards.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see. The best thing to do and I hate it is to leave your stuff if it’s wet and get out and get safe because you’re gonna have snakes and everything else out on the property, they’re moving around,” said Candice Hodges, the Mayor of Vernon.

While the water is now receding, Washington County emergency personnel say they’re still here to provide assistance.

“Our law enforcement, our fire rescue, they’re all staged and ready to respond to any incident. They’ve been responding to rescues for the past 2 days,” said Ashleigh Lollie, the Public Information Officer for Washington County.

Those in deeply flooded areas are advised to find shelter elsewhere.

Washington County emergency personnel say they’re still waiting for the Choctawhatchee River to crest, that’s expected to happen this weekend. As for Choctawhatchee River in Caryville, it’s expected to reach almost 18 feet on Monday.

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