Using publicly available data through the United States Geologic Survey, National Hurricane Center, and our own River, Estuary and Coastal Observing Network (RECON) sensors this animation was created by SCCF/Conservancy of Southwest Florida Hydrologic Modeler Paul Julian, Ph.D. It demonstrates the effect of Hurricane Ian on water levels in rivers and bays.
“Hurricane Ian had a significant effect on water levels across our region. From the storm surge, water levels changed by eight feet at the Franklin lock (S-79) in the Calooshatchee River,” said Julian. “Meanwhile water levels in the Peace River rose 10 feet driven by rainfall and run-off associated with the storm.”
The Myakka River had a combination of storm surge and rainfall and run-off pushing water levels up by approximately five feet. While Hurricane Ian was a very large storm with an eyewall measuring 34 miles in width, the map shows Hurricane Ian’s approximate center line and progression across the state as it made landfall. The graphs on either side show relative water level elevation between Sept. 24 to Oct 1.
For the Caloosahatchee River, Myakka River, McIntyre Creek, and Tarpon Bay, before the storm there are notable waves in the data, this is the normal tidal cycle. As the storm came closer to the coast, water levels receded rapidly (drawing out of water) followed by a surge (spike) in water levels as this water was pushed as a storm surge up the rivers.