Saturday, July 20, 2024
Michael Stone Online

After Hurricane Irma at Paynes Prairie

In the days after Hurricane Irma, as water continued to rise across Paynes Prairie, Donald Forgione noticed something off about Camps Canal to the southeast of the park’s center.

The canal was dug in 1927 by the Camp family to divert incoming water from their farmland on the prairie, providing more dry grazing for their cattle. It flows under a bridge on County Road 234, and while driving over the bridge, Forgione observed that the water had drastically dropped from its Irma-induced high mark.  

Forgione — a longtime Florida State Parks employee who now serves as Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park’s park manager — instantly presumed where the canal’s water was going.

Read the full story in Senior Times magazine.


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