JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some San Marco businesses and homeowners are not taking any chances with Hurricane Ian.
People in that area took a hit from Irma five years ago.
On Wednesday, sandbags were lining the streets at some businesses in the historic neighborhood, which is prone to flooding.
Tyler Glisson was stacking sandbags in front of his gym in San Marco. He knows what these storms can do — like the damage that flooding has done to the area in the past. He is trying his best to keep the water out.
“Hopefully, damage isn’t too bad. Hopefully, it’s just flooding, and hopefully, that’s not real bad,” Glisson said. “Unfortunately, here, the drainage is not great in San Marco. So we get a lot of water coming up and then just the drivers passing by pushes the water up to the door.”
It was not only rain and wind in San Marco on Wednesday but the sounds of circular saws as some people were cutting wood to cover windows.
“We’re anticipating that it’s going to rain, there’s going to be a lot of water,” said Richard Robinson, the owner of the Pink Salt Restaurant and Wine Bar. “So we want to keep all the water out as much as we can so we don’t have a lot to clean up.”
And it’s not only outside they are taking steps. Richard has moved a lot of his supplies and wine out of harm’s way.
“The business wasn’t here five years ago. We’ve been here for almost two and a half years now,” Robinson said. “But still, we heard the horror story, so we are preparing for basically the worst.
He was not alone. And elsewhere in the area, homes and apartments were boarded up, and sandbags were placed to keep the water out. Some people were leaving the area just in case.
Across the river, at Memorial Park in Riverside, repair work from damage caused by Irma is still underway, and some are worried what Ian will do.
“I mean, the entire area was underwater. You couldn’t tell where the park ended and the river began. It was just mind-blowing,” said Sydney Bridgeman, who’s worried about Memorial Park. “I mean, it’s scary. It looks like it might happen again. The water is so high already, and we still haven’t finished repairs from the damage.”
After declaring a state of emergency for Duval County ahead of Hurricane Ian, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced Wednesday morning that based on the Category 4 storm’s current trajectory, he would not be issuing mandatory evacuation orders for the county.