CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County officials are getting prepared for the possible impact of Tropical Storm Ian, which is expected to bring strong winds and intense rain known to cause massive flooding in the Black Creek area.
Clay County Emergency Management Director John Ward urged residents on Sunday to take the time to actively prepare for the storm and take it seriously, even if the exact track is uncertain.
“Hopefully into tomorrow and Tuesday morning, we’ll know what fight we will have for our community whether it’s a flood flight or wind fight but really take this time and get prepared to take this storm seriously,” Ward said.
When Hurricane Irma hit in 2017, the Black Creek area experienced severe flooding with cars underwater on the streets.
Tom Morris lives in Black Creek and remembered the impact Irma has on the area.
“This area was devasted. There was almost a 20-foot rise in the creek level,” Morris said.
Morris said his home is on stilts, but in 2017, the creek flooded and the water rose about his balcony. He also said there are a lot of empty houses in the area as a result of Irma, and his house is one of the three homes that did not get damaged by the flooding.
Ward said as of Sunday afternoon, Black Creak was at a lower level, which is a good thing going into the storm. Emergency management will continue to monitor the creek before and as the storm hits.
Emergency management assured the community that it is prepared for the storm.
Despite the storm’s uncertainty, Ward said he is actively preparing for the storm.
“We are getting things that we don’t need to put in the trash. The next phase will be to move stuff upstairs, then the next phase will be to move vehicles to higher ground,” Morris said.