DELAND, Fla. – The St. Johns River, which has already exceeded flood stage where it passes through DeLand, is predicted to rise more than five inches in the next few days, according to the National Weather Service.
Some homes along the river are already inundated with water, while others remain at risk of flooding.
“If [the river] goes up any more, I’ve got to get out of here,” said Mark Tucciarone, whose house foundation is surrounded with water. “I’ve got six inches left [before it gets inside].”
Tucciarone, who moved to DeLand shortly before Hurricane Irma, said the flooding in his neighborhood is already more severe than it was after that 2017 storm.
When Tucciarone woke up Monday morning, he discovered an alligator on his porch.
“I walked out of my door with a cup of coffee and he was lying right on the front step,” said Tucciarone. “It scared the hell out of me.”
Several homes in Tucciarone’s neighborhood have already flooded, prompting those owners to evacuate, while others are closely watching the river level.
Jill Lang moved her red 1980 Corvette to safety as the St. Johns River crept closer to her home.
“[Neighbors] told us in 22 years there’s never been water in my house. So I kind of felt secure about that,” said Lang, who moved into the riverfront home exactly two years ago. “I’ve got a couple more inches.”
Lang said her family plans to evacuate if the water enters her home.
“Once it comes in, I’ll bail ship,” she said. “But so far, so good.”
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: