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Public Information Statement

Statement as of 12:15 PM EDT on September 27, 2016

To: emergency management officials, news media, and other users.

Effective Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 1 PM EDT (1700 utc) the
National Weather Service in Jacksonville will change the vertical
datum used for river forecast and data points within the Suwannee
River water management district's (srwmd) area of responsibility.
This includes the following rivers in the NWS Jacksonville area of

Alapaha river
ichetucknee river
New River
Sampson river and associated lakes
Santa Fe River
Suwannee River
Withlacoochee River

Currently, river observations at the data and forecast points on
these rivers are reported in height above sea level in the National
geodetic vertical datum of 1929 (ngvd29). The srwmd recently
completed a survey for each of these locations in the North American
vertical datum of 1988(navd88). Use of this new datum is more
accurate than the ngvd29 datum and also allows easier reference to
established flood maps and base flood elevations, which are depicted
in the navd88 datum.

A few locations in srwmd's network are reported relative to a gage
zero level at each specific point. These gages will be changed to
report height above sea level in navd88 to be consistent across
srwmd's entire observational network.

Flood stages will be converted at most forecast and observation
points to height above sea level in navd88 and then rounded to the
nearest whole number, or nearest half foot, when the station is
affected by tides.

Flood stages for the Suwannee River at Dowling Park, Suwannee River
at Luraville, Suwannee River at Ellaville, Suwannee River at
Branford, and Santa Fe River at Three Rivers Estates will be further
modified based on recently completed inundation mapping modeling for
these locations.

These updates are a direct result of survey work completed by the
srwmd, coordination between emergency management officials across
North Florida, the Florida division of emergency management and the
United States geological survey in Florida.

The following river forecast points are included in this service change:

Santa Fe River near Fort White (fwhf1)
Santa Fe River at three River Estates (tref1)*
Santa Fe River near Hildreth (ftwf1)
Suwannee River at White Springs (wspf1)
Suwannee River near Suwannee Springs (likf1)
Suwannee River near Ellaville (ellf1)*
Suwannee River near Dowling Park (douf1)*
Suwannee River near Luraville (lurf1)*
Suwannee River near Branford (bfdf1)*
Suwannee River near Wilcox (wcxf1)
Suwannee River at Manatee Springs (mtsf1)
Suwannee River at Fowlers Bluff (fwbf1)
Withlacoochee River near Pinetta (pinf1)

*additional flood stage modifications based on inundation mapping

The following river observation points are included in this service change:

Alapaha river near Jennings (jnaf1)
ichetucknee river below ichetucknee State Park (icsf1)
New River near Lake Butler (nrbf1)
Alligator Creek near Starke (acsf1)
Lake Sampson near Starke (lssf1)
Sampson river at Sampson city (sssf1)
Santa Fe Lake near Earleton (erlf1)
Hampton Lake near Hampton (hamf1)
Santa Fe River near Graham (grmf1)
Santa Fe River at Worthington Springs (worf1)
Santa Fe River at oleno State Park (olpf1)
Santa Fe River at river rise (rrzf1)
Santa Fe River near High Springs (hspf1)
Santa Fe River at Poe Springs pool (poef1)
Suwannee River near Benton (sbnf1)
Suwannee River at Nobles Ferry (srnf1)
Suwannee River near Rock Bluff (rckf1)
Suwannee River at gopher river (suwf1)
Withlacoochee River near Madison (wtmf1)
Withlacoochee River near Lee (wthf1)

Documentation on these changes can be found at the following website:

Santa Fe River system:
Suwannee river:
withlacoocheee river:
Alapaha river:

The data for these forecast and observation points are provided
through our partners, the United States geological survey and the
Suwannee River water management district. Without these
observations, forecasts and warnings within the Suwannee River basin
would not be possible. You can learn more about stream gauges in
Florida by visiting:


To get the latest information on these and other river points in the
Jacksonville area of responsibility, please visit our website at:


River forecast and warning services for these forecast points are
supported by the National Weather Service in Tallahassee and
Jacksonville Florida. You can learn more about these offices by
visiting our websites at:


For further information regarding this change, please contact:

Kelly Godsey Scott Cordero
senior service hydrologist meteorologist in charge
NWS Tallahassee Florida NWS Jacksonville
Love building 13701 fang drive
Florida State University Jacksonville, Florida 32218
Tallahassee, Florida 32306 (904) 741-4370 ext 222
(850) 942-8833 ext 228 Scott.Cordero@noaa.Gov

Jason Hess
hydrology program Leader
NWS Jacksonville
13701 fang drive
Jacksonville, Florida 32218
(904) 741-4370

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