CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Any time there is a significant weather event, residents living near Black Creek in Clay County prepare for the worst.
Over the years, the area has seen creek waters rise when tropical storms and hurricanes move through the First Coast.
The area saw record flooding in 2017 due to Hurricane Irma. A storm surge, combined with up to 20 inches of rain from the hurricane, brought the river to 28.5 feet before dawn on Sept. 12 — a crest that broke a record set in 1919.
As rains from Tropical Storm Elsa reached Clay County Wednesday morning, flooding was not expected to be a serious issue. But the rains that covered the area Wednesday afternoon are causing the creek to rise quickly.
As of Wednesday evening, the creek was up around 4 feet and the North Fork of Black Creek near Middleburg.
After it was expected to crest at 13 feet on Thursday, the National Weather Service is now predicting it will reach nearly 15 feet Thursday afternoon. The flood stage is 16 feet.
News4Jax will continue to monitor creek levels throughout the day as Tropical Storm Elsa moves across the state and into Georgia.
Elsewhere in the county, there were no confirmed reports of storm damage or flooding and just 55 people out of more than 83,000 customers had reported power outages as of 4:30 p.m., according to Clay Electric.