Clay County Emergency Management has released an updated map with the county’s hurricane evacuation zones.
The new map will be effective for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
The updated Northeast Florida Sea, Land, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model results were released by the National Hurricane Center in late 2021. The new Storm Surge Basin takes advantage of faster computing power to cover a more comprehensive area and provide a more inclusive picture of storm surge inundation into Clay County. This information, along with historical impacts and existing flood zones, is the basis for the new evacuation zone map. Residents who were previously not in an evacuation zone may now be included due to this updated storm surge data.
Those who live in a mobile home or another type of vulnerable housing are considered as being in an evacuation zone regardless of the home’s location.
The biggest changes to the map include the expansion of Zones B and C. Zone B is in orange along the river and to the south end. Zone C is in yellow, and it includes the north and south prongs of Black Creek, where flooding is often an issue. This year’s changes expanded that to include more people.
“Hopefully we will not have to utilize these evacuation zones, but we just always need our residents to be prepared,” said Clay County Emergency Management Director John Ward.
Ward said residents may think they’re inland, but they’re considered coastal because of the St. Johns River.
“We want to remind our citizens, you know, the St. Johns River flows north and dumps out into the Atlantic, so we are susceptible to storm surge,” Ward said.
Visit ALERT.claycountygov.com to sign up for emergency alerts and get updated disaster preparedness information.