As Elsa moves closer, angst over flooding is high in some Duval County neighborhoods

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Concern over flooding in some Duval County neighborhoods remained high as Elsa on Tuesday moved closer to Florida’s west coast.

Homeowners along Willow Creek Terrace in Avondale are worried about the amount of rainfall they might experience and when the bulk of the rain might fall. The homes are near Willow Brach Creek -- close to the opening of the St. Johns River.

“If it’s high tide, much like it was with Irma, we do get water that comes out of the canal, but our street will flood,” said Leslie Dean, an Avondale resident. “Sometimes we’ll have standing water because the drains can’t work if the tide is too high.”

Jeff Clarke and his wife recently moved to the same block. He said they’re not panicking, but they are preparing.

ELSA: Interactive map | County-by-county preps/status/forecast | What you expect in your city/neighborhood

“Making sure we do have supplies, move our cars and things like that,” he said.

Across the creek at River Shore Village condominiums, people are not taking any chances with Elsa because in 2017, floodwaters from Hurricane Irma damaged some ground floor apartments. According to neighbors, there were cars floating in the parking lot.

“We do have friends on the second floor here. We have friends over there on the fifth floor,” said Ann Kopelousos, a River Shore Village resident. “Just in case.”

Over in the Woodstock neighborhood, Ava Thomas on Tuesday feared there’s more flooding to come in the hours ahead.

Residents told News4Jax that flooding has been an issue for years in the neighborhood. Thomas purchased her home in January and said she’s had issues with floodwaters since March.

“Every time it rains, I am watching the cameras on my house to make sure my house is not flooding,” Thomas said.

The home was supposed to be her dream home, but now she says it’s a dream gone sour.

A photo taken Sunday shows the flooding in her front yard.

Photo taken July 4, 2021.

“On the Fourth of July around 5 o’clock it started raining and it started flooding, and when I say it was flooded, it flooded all the way here -- I couldn’t even see my yard any more. It was covered with water,” Thomas said.

On Tuesday, city workers rushed to clear the storm drains.

“I am a single parent. I worked very hard to get this home,” Thomas said. “I reached out for help so many times.”

As Thomas waits for the rain from Elsa, she hopes her property is not damaged more this week. She’s thankful that crews arrived and hopes they will continue to keep the drains clear.

More flooding woes for Duval county: Woodstock residents are calling on the city to clear storm drains before more water floods their property.

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