TAMPA BAY, Fla. (WFLA) — Hernando County Emergency Management officials say the Withlacoochee River has officially reached major flood stage at Trilby.
The Trilby gauge currently shows the river at 16.79 feet. Officials say the last time the river experienced this level of flooding was the 2004 hurricane season.
About 4,000 people who live along the river are under a voluntary evacuation order and more than 1,900 properties are at risk of flooding.
“It’s really bad. We are 6 feet up in the air, at my home. So I am very lucky. But I have water all around me,” said homeowner Deborah Garcia.
The river is expected to continue rising throughout the next week and eventually reach 17.6 feet. The crest is then expected to last two days before the river starts to recede.
People who live in the area are being asked to monitor the river levels and seek safety if they feel threatened.
“We will be praying, because this is horrible. You better get your boots out or you better swim,” Garcia said.
For those evacuating, The Enrichment Center located at 800 John Gary Grubbs Boulevard in Brooksville, has been designated as a host shelter.
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