U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planning visit to Astor as soon as possible

Resident: ‘Everything you got is gone’

On Thursday, the St. Johns River flowed more than two feet above flood stage in Astor, blocking many residents’ access to their homes.

ASTOR, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told News 6 its team is setting up a visit to the town of Astor as soon as possible to study possible methods to prevent future flooding from storms.

On Thursday, the St. Johns River flowed more than two feet above flood stage in Astor, blocking many residents’ access to their homes.

“Everything you got is gone,” said Lottie Lott.

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Lott said she has lived in Astor for 15 years, and many of her neighbors have lived here for more than 30 years.

On Thursday, she waded through thigh-high water to get to her home.

She said she’s never seen the floodwaters get this high after a storm.

“(My house) got boards through it, so you can walk through it,” she said. “You can look down and see water.”

Lott said she rode out the storm in a sailboat parked in her front yard.

Floodwaters engulfed a neighborhood in Astor after Hurricane Ian. (Copyright 2022 WKMG/Clickorlando)

A News 6 investigation earlier this year revealed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Silver Jacket team had proposed a study in Astor to examine possible ways to prevent future flooding.

It was approved in July, and the study was funded on Oct. 1.

Spokesman David Ruderman said the team is now planning a site visit to Astor as soon as possible.

“Inverse benefit of the tragedy is resulting data will provide USACE and partners with current data to create the most useful models for mitigating future storm impacts in Astor,” he said.

Lott said she wants to see what the team comes up with because floods or not, she likes her neighborhood the way it is.

“If you’re going to live here, expect it every so many years. It’s not every year,” she said. “I’m a Floridian. Either you live in it or you live on it.”

NOAA forecasters predict the water levels to remain over flood stage into next week before they start to slowly recede.


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About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.