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Sinkholes in Suwannee County, FL | Florida Sinkholes

Suwannee County, FL Sinkhole Map

Sinkhole Count: 198

Suwannee County, FL FAQs

Suwannee County, FL

Suwannee County, located in north Florida, was created in 1858 with its territory carved out of Columbia County that now sits east of Suwannee. This county was named after the Suwannee River that winds around three sides of the county. Suwannee County has a total area of 692 square miles, just 0.5 percent or 3.7 square miles of which is water largely accounted for by the county’s namesake river.

Live Oak is Suwannee’s county seat and largest city. South of this city, the town of Branford, comes as another major population center of the county.  Nestling on the banks of the Suwannee River, this town is popularly known as the “Freshwater Spring Diving Capital of America.”.

Gifts of a River        

The Suwannee River forms a significant role in the formation of this county’s endearing character that has lured many people to its fold either as residents or tourists. Even prior to the county’s establishment, the river had notably became embedded in the Americans’ consciousness when it was immortalized in “Old Folks at Home,” the signature song of Stephen Foster which was written in 1851.

Today, the river is one of the county’s assets, providing residents and visitors with excellent opportunities for paddling, fishing, and camping. Several pristine springs, such as Little River Springs, are associated with the Suwannee River. Other akin county destinations which are as inviting include the Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park as well as Suwannee River State Park.

Cultural Points of Interest

Music festivals are notably part of the excitement of living or visiting Suwanee County. North of Live Oak, the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park on the Suwannee River hosts musical performances and festivals throughout the year. These uplifting events include the Wannee Music Festival staged mid-to-late April, the Suwannee River Jam in early May, and Suwannee Hulaween in late October.  The 800-acre park also accommodates RV campers and has rental cabins as well.

Besides the events and festivals hosted by the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, the Wellborn Blueberry Festival is held in June in the unincorporated community of Wellborn, drawing crowds of more than 6,000 people.  Additionally, downtown Live Oak holds Christmas on the Square during the first week of December. This city further charms visitors with its assortment of historic buildings including a former railroad depot that was repurposed as home of the Suwannee County Historical Museum.

Growing the Economy

Suwanee remains dominantly rural, with agriculture and related industries accounting for 47.2 percent of the county’s employment. To further grow Suwanee’s economy, county officials has targeted several industry sectors as growth platforms matching local assets and strengths.

These foundations of growth include Suwanee’s transport infrastructures including its airport and major road corridors. Among these vital highways are Interstate 20 and Interstate 75 linking Suwannee to major urban centers not only in Florida but also in Georgia.

The industry sectors to watch in Suwanee’s future include not only the county’s mainstay agribusiness and tourism industries. Likewise a priority for development in the country are transportation and logistics, manufacturing, biofuels and renewable energy and retirement services including housing and healthcare.

References:

BRANFORD, FL
January 2010 – A sinkhole opened up in Branford during a heavy rainfall, partially under a 280th Terrace mobile home.

McAlpin, FL
October 2012 – More than 50 sinkholes opened up in Chuck Matukaitis property in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Debby. One of them is believed to be the largest sinkhole in Suwannee County.

LIVE OAK, FL
September 2013 – Flooding opened up countless sinkholes on Warren Street in downtown Live Oak.

BRANFORD, FL
November 2013 – Three sinkholes formed in the area at the Branford Wastewater Treatment Plant, draining treated wastewater contents of the plant’s percolation pond. The area is located one-half mile east of Branford High School, just south of CR 247 and 77th Road.

LIVE OAK, FL
June 2017 –  A 15-foot long sinkhole has shut down portions of a road in 182nd Street between 129th Road and 137th Road as a safety precaution.

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