Astor hits major flood stage as St. Johns River swells from Hurricane Nicole

River rising faster than forecast as Nicole’s wind field pushes on Lake George

The St. Johns River is rising, already reaching major flood stage in the Lake County community of Astor.

ASTOR, Fla. – The St. Johns River is rising faster than expected in the Astor area and has hit major flood stage because of Hurricane Nicole.

The huge wind field from Nicole is pushing in on Lake George, north of Astor, causing a backup upstream on the St. Johns River, according to News 6 Meteorologist Jonathan Kegges.

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As a result, the river in the Astor area is rising about 12 hours ahead of schedule. Major flood stage is at 4 feet.

Astor is expected to stay at flood stage over the next few days. It could reach 4.2 feet Thursday, which is higher than the flooding caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Astor, in Lake County, flooded because of Hurricane Ian, and floodwater was still a problem just days ago.

County leaders told News 6 there were not any mandatory evacuations in place for the area, but they urged residents to seek shelter if their homes saw damage from Ian.

At this time, two shelters are open at Umatilla Elementary School and Lost Lake Elementary School.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is studying flooding in the Astor area and as it looks at mitigating sea level rise.

NOAA researchers projected a 1-foot rise in sea level by the year 2050 – the same rise measured over the last 100 years.

According to NOAA data, that 1-foot rise could push up the St. Johns River, which flows right through the town of Astor, an area that is no stranger to flooding.

Along other parts of the St. Johns River, Sanford is only expected to encounter minor flood stage because of Nicole, while Geneva will push back up to moderate flood stage, and the rise will be much slower. Both areas experienced catastrophic flooding because of Hurricane Ian.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.