MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard has issued a safety zone Friday near Black Creek in the St. Johns River.
The safety zone was issued to protect the public's safety and mitigate further flood damage to homes along Black Creek, Coast Guard officials explained.
Hurricane Irma brought significant flooding to portions of the St. Johns River and surrounding areas. Black Creek homes in Clay County were particularly affected by floodwaters. These floodwaters have destroyed homes and docks along the creek. Vessel traffic near the creek's north and south forks is being restricted to protect the public and mitigate further flood damage to homes being caused by vessel wake. This restriction would limit only those vessels not needing access to portions of Black Creek.
REGULATED AREAS: All waters of Black Creek, west of the CSX Railroad Bridge crossing at Sleepy Hollow (mile post A664.5), to include North Fork Black Creek and South Fork Black Creek, in Clay County, Florida.
DURATION: This safety zone will be enforced from 6:00 a.m. September 15, 2017 through 6:00 a.m. September 18, 2017.
RULES: All vessels are prohibited from entering or transiting through the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or designated representative. Consideration for approving the entrance or transit through the regulated area will be for residents in homes adjacent to Black Creek and commercial vessels needing access to the area.
NOTICE OF SAFETY ZONE: The Coast Guard will provide notice and status of the safety zone by Broadcast Notice to Mariners and on-scene designated representatives.
REQUESTS TO ENTER THE ZONE: Vessels may not navigate within the safety zone without prior approval from the Captain of the Port or a designated representative. The Coast Guard and Clay County Sherriff’s Office will be on-scene enforcing the zone and will monitor Channel 16 VHF-FM, for those seeking vessel movement authorizations.