If you live in them, you likely know about them, but there are a lot of problem spots when it comes to severe weather in Northeast Florida.
WOKV is breaking down where some of these most at-risk areas are, and what you can expect to see.
One of the most predictable flood concerns is Black Creek. Clay County Emergency Management Deputy Director John Ward tells me that’s even more significant going in to this storm season because the county is still wet from a bad storm a few weeks ago and fairly consistent wet weather since then.
And while that presents a flooding problem along the creek, it presents another hazard through most of the county.
“We do have a lot of rural roads and a lot of dirt roads which, when we start getting a lot of rain like we are, are washing out,” Ward says.
This was seen last year when CR 218 washed out, causing a break in the road and huge gap that forced emergency repairs to the major thoroughfare. Ward tells me that infrastructure has been built up now so it should look better going in to this season.
Nassau County Emergency Management keeps an eye on the roads as well. When weather becomes very severe, I’m told getting people off of Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach becomes an access problem. The EOC tells me people who live in those communities need to keep a close eye on any severe weather threats and warnings and have an evacuation plan ready, because if access roads are shut down that means people can’t leave, and help can’t arrive.
St. Johns County Emergency Management is also keeping an eye on the coastal communities.
“The entire coastline from the Duval County line to the Flagler County line is the high hazard area,” says Emergency Management Director Ray Ashton.
Ashton says Summer Haven, Porpoise Point, and parts of south Ponte Vedra have proved to be problem spots during past storms, but the entire coastline is at risk for beach erosion. Not only can that cause damage to coastal homes, but Ashton says it deals a big blow to the beach tourism that helps support the community.
Duval County Emergency Management says one of the area’s most well-known features also proves to be a problem.
“The [St. Johns] River is a beautiful asset for the city, but at the same time it presents some interesting dynamics come storm time,” says Emergency Management Interim Director William Estep.
Especially for areas along the river, like San Marco and Riverside, or low-lying areas in the Westside like McGirts Creek, flooding is a consistent concern. With the amount of tributaries in Duval County, however, he says really any area near them need to watch out.
Flooding, especially along a river is a problem in Baker County as well. Baker County Emergency Management Director Adam Faircloth says his concern is the St. Marys.
“Unfortunately, that’s an area that we’ve traditionally had flooding with- back with Tropical Storm Faye and, most recently, with Tropical Storm Debby,” Faircloth says.
And flooding could present problems for the roads in Baker County as well which, like in parts of rural Clay County, can wash out with too much rainfall.
Overall, while there are specific problem spots to focus on, emergency management officials across the board shared a unanimous concern for you taking warnings seriously and preparing in advance- no matter where you live.
“It only takes that one storm, whether it’s a busy season or not, to cause significant impacts to our area,” Ward says.
He says you need to be prepared with food, water, medicine and other emergency supplies and take evacuation warnings seriously. For more tips on what you should have on hand as well as contacts for your local department, you can visit the links attached through this article.