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Water levels reach 'action' stage in Black Creek

Residents along North, South prongs urged to stay alert

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – Water levels reached action stage along the North Prong of Black Creek in Clay County on Monday, which is about five feet less than flood stage.

Action stage occurs when water levels hit 11 feet, and it's expected to rise with the continuous rain. Flood stage occurs when levels reach 16 feet.

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It has many homeowners uneasy, as some are still recovering from Hurricane Irma's historic flooding. Ryan Martin, a homeowner in Black Creek, remembered how high the water got back in September.

"It was horrifying," Martin said. "It was a really bad couple of days."

Martin rode out the storm at a shelter in Clay County. Kenny Coffman, who also lives in Black Creek, said he did what he could to lend a hand to his neighbors after Irma.

"I helped out a lot of devastated people," Coffman said. "But the water just, the way it came up so quick, people didn't have time to react, to move, to get out."

The water levels aren't expected to rise anywhere near the level they did during Irma. But the high levels still have neighbors on edge, and Clay County Emergency Management is telling residents along the North and South prongs to stay alert.

"This is a bunch of good people down here, and they firmly believe in this place. They love it. It's their home," Martin said. "What are you going to do?"