I-10 reopens; other roads closed; shelters open

FHP: Standing water kept interstate impassable for 28 miles

Published On: Jun 27 2012 07:27:02 AM EDT   Updated On: Jun 28 2012 02:02:47 PM EDT

Two days after I-10 in Baker County and Columbia counties were closed by flooding, the the Florida Highway Patrol reopened the interstate to traffic.

The Florida Highway Patrol shut down 28 miles of Interstate 10 from U.S. 90 in Baker County to the Interstate 75 interchange in Columbia County early Tuesday morning due to standing water from the torrential rains of Tropical Storm Debby.

About 8 a.m. Thursday, the FHP opened the westbound lanes, and it reopened the eastbound lanes about 10:45 a.m.

Dozens of other area roads across northeast Florida remain closed due to flooding or washouts, riverfront homes in Baker, Clay and Nassau counties are evacuated, and the Red Cross has opened several shelters.

Baker County:

Road closings:

The St. Marys River near Macclenny was at 24.2 feet at 9:45 p.m. Thursday -- 12 feet above flood stage and breaking the all-time 23.2-foot crest in 1964.  The waters are expected to rise another couple of inches before slowly receding, but will be in what is considered major flood range through the weekend.

The Red Cross opened a shelter at Macclenny Elementary School on Wildkitten Drive.

Jacksonville/Duval County:

Road closings (as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday):

Late Wednesday afternoon, tThe city of Jacksonville released the following list of additional closings:

A Red Cross shelter is open at Evangel Temple at 5755 Ramona Blvd., off I-10 and Lane Avenue.

From crews' reports, one home in the Boone Park area has been destroyed. Another home in the McCoys Creek area has suffered major damage, and 11 properties in Boone Park and McCoy's Creek have suffered minor damage from flooding. A fixed base operator hangar at Jacksonville International Airport also suffered wind damage. Commercial air service was not impacted.

The University of North Florida campus was closed until noon Wednesday. Further updates about the status of UNF classes will be posted at unf.edu.

The Duval County Health Department reminds residents that flood waters may contain fecal material, associated bacteria and viruses.

Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services division is asking anyone who may have lost a dog in the storm to contact the city shelter by calling 904-630-CITY (2489) or by visiting the shelter at 2020 Forest Street. The shelter is at capacity as Animal Control officials experienced a much higher than normal intake due to storm conditions. The intake fee will be waived for anyone coming to collect their pet within 24 hours of impound.

After more than 20 inches of rain fell in three days, city crews are working to replace dislocated road barricades while looking for fresh potholes, broken sidewalks, clogged storm drains and other potential safety hazards.

Damage caused by Tropical Storm Debby should be reported online at 630CITY.coj.net, by email at 630CITY@coj.net, or by calling 904-630-CITY (2489). Calls regarding injuries should be directed to 911.

Clay County:

Black Creek is experiencing a major flood and nearing historic high levels.  According to the National Weather Service, the north fork crested at 25.11 feet -- about 9.5 feet above flood stage -- on Wednesday, just shy of the record 25.3 feet in 1919.  The river had fallen 18.6 feet by midday Thursday.

The Red Cross has closed the two shelters in Clay County it had opened earlier in the week.

Roads closed:

Due to hazardous road conditions, the Florida Forest Service has closed its two state forests in Clay County: Belmore and Jennings.

The Clay County Health Department's the Health Department Bear Run clinic is slated to reopen on Friday.

Collection of storm-related debris is flood-affected areas will not begin until late next week -- about July 6.  A scheduled of locations and days will be released before collections begin.

Columbia County:

Officials said there are dozens roads affected by high water.  These are reported to be closed as of 1:30 p.m. Thursday:

The Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers are above floods stage and have not yet crested and are expected to affect homes nearby. Voluntary evacuations are requested.

A Columbia County shelter is now open at Richardson Middle School at 646 SE Pennsylvania Street, one block south of Baya Avenue

Nassau County:

The Red Cross opened a shelter at Hilliard High School.

Nassau County Emergency Management says they made two water rescues of people stranded in their homes by flooding and are are on standby for more along the St. Marys River in the northwest part of the county.

Nassau County has also set up two locations to hand out sandbags:

Residents are given bags and sand is available, but they need to bring shovels and be prepared to fill the bags.

Due to hazardous road conditions, the Florida Forest Service has closed three state forests in Nassau County: Cary, Four Creeks and Ralph E. Simmons Memorial.

For any other information, Nassau County residents can call the Emergency Operations Center at 904-548-4980.

Bradford County:

Road closing (at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday):

Properties near Alligator Creek continue to experience flooding. Flood control gates on Sampson Lake being opened due to high lake level.

"We don’t expect the lake levels to crest for another four days, said Michael Heeder of Bradford County Emergency Management. "Homes already threatened could see another foot of water rise, exacerbating the issues that we have."

The Red Cross had opened a shelter Starke Elementary School at 1000 Wes Weldon Street, and it closed before noon Thursday.

Officials closed Sampson Lake to all motorized vessels as a result of the high water levels and flooding concerns.

Union County:

Road closings as of 6 a.m. Wednesday: