PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. – Putnam County Emergency Management on Wednesday recommended that residents in low-lying and flood-prone areas within the county evacuate. Officials said residents in evacuation zones A and F, areas with a history of flooding and mobile homes should heed the advice.
Putnam County Commissioner Bill Pickens said residents can expect seven to 15 inches of rain and 39-58 mph winds. The storm surge on the St. Johns River is expected to reach three feet beginning Thursday and peaking on Friday.
Pickens also said to expect and prepare for power outages.
Neighbors share some concerns about flooding and are planning to hunker down and ride out the storm.
“The last storm that came through the river came up pretty close to us and it didn’t put us out of the house so we’re just hoping for the best,” Kirk Mast, who lives in Federal Point, said.
Another neighbor spoke to News4JAX about flooding in the area.
“There’s a church right across the street — St. Paul’s Episcopal Church — it’s been there since 1876, I believe I could be off by 10 years, and they have never flooded, so I figure if they sit lower than me so I should be good,” Nicole Medeiros, who also lives in Federal Point, said. “But normally all my neighbors along the river flood.”
Sandbags will be available at 11th Street near the fire department, the Huntington location on Putnam County Road 308 west of Crescent City, and at the Chester sand pit in Hawthorne through Wednesday. The sandbags are first come, first serve.
Once the storm hits — county officials predict that neighborhoods including Federal Point, Dunns Creek, and Welaka could get winds up to 58 miles per hour.
Shelters in Putnam County will open at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Emergency Management provided the following list:
General Population Shelters
- Robert H. Jenkins, Jr. Elementary School (formerly Interlachen Elementary School), 251 County Rd 315, Interlachen, FL
- QI Roberts JR-SR High School, 901 State Rd 100, Florahome
- Browning-Pearce Elementary School, 100 Bear Blvd, San Mateo
- Middleton-Burney Elementary School, 1020 Huntington Rd, Crescent City
- Ockwilla Elementary School, 299 N. State Rd 21, Hawthorne
- Special needs (Run through the Department of Health)
- Kelley Smith Elementary School, 141 Kelley Smith School Rd., Palatka
Landfill operations and collections will be suspended and will resume when conditions improve.
For more information and to find out your evacuation zone, please visit eoc.putnam-fl.com or call the EOC call center at 386-329-1904.