ASTOR, Fla. – The St. Johns river hit moderate flood stage Sunday after already hitting a minor level this past week, causing growing concerns for some neighborhood residents.
“The water was like up to here,” said Grelis Ruiz, who showed News 6 where the water reached her home after both Hurricane Ian and Nicole swept through the area last year.
Ruiz says she can’t help but compare last year’s situation to the flooding that happened over the weekend.
While in Astor, News 6 saw multiple streets underwater and in some cases, the water was seen inching closer to homes. There were even warnings posted along the river warning boaters to slow down so the water wouldn’t push higher on land.
Lake County’s emergency management also sent out a tweet Sunday warning residents that the St. Johns River reached a moderate flood stage, saying in part, “water levels may rise above docks and move into yards and low-lying areas.”
ALERT: the St. Johns River in Astor is now forecast to reach a Moderate Flood Stage of 3.0 feet this afternoon. Due to high tides and runoff from heavy rainfall, water levels may rise above docks and move into yards and low-lying areas. pic.twitter.com/9wBpWfB7l5— Lake County Emergency Management (@lakeemergency) October 1, 2023
Sunday also marks one year since the Astor community saw a similar sight after the river crested at nearly 5 feet breaking records.
Ruiz tells News 6 her family is doing their best to take this situation in stride as kids were seen playing close to homes as Ruiz and other parents monitored closely.
Residents say another thing that worries them is wildlife like alligators who normally wouldn’t have access to certain roadways, but with the water now rising high enough they can simply swim through the streets as water creeps closer to homes.
That’s why Ruiz says they have already fortified their home saying they don’t want to lose furniture like they did during last year’s hurricanes.
“I don’t know if you can see we have sandbags so whenever we leave we just do the same, we put sandbags, that kind of helps us you know,” Ruiz said.
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Ruiz says she also elevated her furniture as a precaution saying due to their neighborhood being in a low-lying area flooding is always a concern.
The National Weather Service forecasted the river to go back down in a few days on Wednesday, but Ruiz says that her family can’t do much right now but wait it out.
“We have to, we have to like we say to the bad weather, bad time... good faith that’s what we have to do,” Ruiz said.
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