BAKER COUNTY, Fla. – Residents living along the St. Marys River in Baker County are accustomed to flooding during heavy rain events, and they’re preparing this week for Ian.
Richard Allen said he’s a bit nervous ahead of the storm, which is expected to impact many parts of Florida. He lives off Steel Bridge Road, and he’s spent time moving things out of the yard.
“We’ve got generators, just need to get gas,” he said.
In 2021, after Tropical Storm Elsa, his road flooded with the St. Marys river sitting at about 17 feet. Flood stage is at 12 feet.
We talked to a woman at the time who had to jet ski to her home after the storm hit because part of Steel Bridge Road was under water.
“All the neighbors have boats. They’re always giving rides if people have to ride back home,” Allen said.
Allen says his home is elevated, so he hopes water doesn’t creep into his home.
“Some of the houses are still on the ground and a lot of the houses are on stilts, but like my neighbor’s house that was there, it’s not there now, he’d open sliding glass doors and the water would run right through the doors,” Allen said.
Darien Combs says his old home was destroyed in Hurricane Irma. Now he and his family are evacuating to Georgia for this storm.
“A tree fell on it it, busted the window out and all of that, we had boards over the window and it slammed through the boards,” Combs said.
Sandbags are being provided for residents in Baker County beginning Tuesday.
County-by-county: Where to get sandbags in Northeast Florida, Southeast Georgia