Posts Tagged ‘Florida Panhandle’

Trial set to begin in Florida and Georgia’s fight over water

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Florida and Georgia this week are taking their long-standing fight over the supply of water in their shared watershed to court. Arguments are expected to last for weeks, and the result could affect millions of people and major industries in both states.
The dispute centers on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. The watershed drains nearly 20,000 square miles in western Georgia, eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
Florida claims that Atlanta and southwest Georgia farmers are using too much water and are hurting the oyster industry downstream. Georgia argues that limiting its water use will harm the economy.
The proceeding opens Monday before an official appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
WHAT’S THE DISAGREEMENT?
The dispute focuses on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, which drains nearly 20,000 square miles in western Georgia, eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Chattahoochee and Flint rivers meet at the Georgia-Florida border to form the Apalachicola, which flows into the bay and the Gulf of Mexico beyond.
The states cite dramatically different reasons for the lower flows of water across the border from Georgia to Florida.
Florida says water use has risen sharply in the booming metropolitan Atlanta area and in southwest Georgia’s agricultural industry, harming the environment and downstream industries, including oyster fishing.
Georgia’s lawyers say the state’s water use isn’t to blame for lower flows into Florida’s Apalachicola Bay, and that limiting its use of the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers will jeopardize Georgia’s economy.
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WHAT DOES FLORIDA WANT?
Florida is asking for a cap on Georgia’s water use, with added restrictions during drought. Attorneys plan to argue that Georgia is to blame for lower river flows crossing the border to Florida, harming the environment and causing a collapse of the oyster fishing industry. Florida says that conservation measures in Atlanta and elsewhere will help downstream areas without affecting the city’s growth.
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WHAT DOES GEORGIA WANT?
Georgia

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Matthew may return later to Florida in ‘funky loop’ dance

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

In what might eventually be more a psychological blow than a meteorological one, there’s a decent chance that Hurricane Matthew could loop back full circle for a second, unwelcome visit to South Florida next week.
If so, what arrives Tuesday would just be a weakened remnant of the monster storm that’s about to rake the Florida and Georgia coasts, meteorologists say. It’s more akin to rubbing salt in the Sunshine State’s wounds than inflicting further damage, meteorologists say. It would be unusual, but not unprecedented.
It is still a long way out, but some computer models show that after raking the lower southeast coast, Matthew will turn east into in the Atlantic and then back down south again. This many days out, any model forecast is subject to major changes and shouldn’t be relied upon, meteorologists caution. Still, the National Hurricane Center’s five-day forecast shows a now-tropical storm Matthew making three-quarters of the loop by Tuesday morning.
One of the two major computer models that meteorologists use on – the American GFS model – has Matthew doing a full circle and crossing into South Florida sometime Tuesday. The other one, the European model, doesn’t quite complete the circle, says Jeff Masters, a former federal hurricane hunter meteorologist and meteorology director of Weather Underground.
Masters puts the odds of a full loop-de-loop at 50-50, but it is getting more probable.
A few days ago, Colorado State University meteorology professor Phil Klotzbach laughed when what he first saw the first model showing what he calls “this funky loop.” He told himself: “That’ll be the day.” Now he says it’s “probably pretty likely.”
PAST LOOPERS
Hurricane Ivan in 2004 hit the Florida Panhandle, went up to Virginia and then went back down through Southeast Florida, back into the Gulf of Mexico and to Texas, Masters says. Ivan’s giant loop in

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