MILTON — Flood waters on Blackwater River State Forest receded significantly in the past 24 hours in area creeks and streams.
Water no longer is flowing through the campground at Coldwater Recreation Area and Coldwater Creek is under the bridge at Gordon Land Road. However, the ground remains saturated and cleanup will be required before reopening Monday.
There is erosion damage to the trails at the Clear Creek OHV Riding Area near Milton. The current plan is to close sections for repair and leave the remainder of the trails open for riding this weekend.
Most of the major roads previously closed have been reopened except Bryant Bridge, Deaton Bridge and Red Rock roads. Roads damaged by erosion remain closed and these include portions of Bud Bass, Charlie Foster, Melvin Holley and Mattie Kennedy roads.
Crews began assessing the horse trails and other roads that were previously inaccessible. These assessments will be ongoing for several weeks.
“Generally, we are finding isolated cases of damage throughout BRSF rather than the widespread, extensive damage seen during previous flood events,” said David Smith, Operations Administrator for the Blackwater Forestry Center. “Efforts to improve bridges as well as harden roads and campsites during the past several years were worthwhile. Those improvements prevented the damage from being much, much worse.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages 37 state forests on more than 1 million acres of public forest land while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire.