Flagler neighborhoods urged to evacuate due to potential flooding threat

Effective immediately, residents should only use water for emergency purposes, sewer system overwhelmed

Flagler County officials partially shut down bridge on State Road 100. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

Neighborhood Evacuations

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – As of Thursday morning, Flagler County officials urged residents in the Woodlands neighborhood, which is evacuation Zone C, to evacuate immediately due to significant flooding.

At 1:30 p.m., Officials added evacuation Zone B which includes Bulow Mobile Home Park, Flagler Beach Polo Club West, Bulow Woods, Seaside Landings and the Flagler Beach Polo Club to the list of areas urged to evacuate as well.

Residents are encouraged to stay with family or friends or seek public shelter at Rymfire Elementary School on 1425 Rymfire Drive in Palm Coast, which is open to the general public as the city of Bunnell’s water utilities are taxed.

If you are utilizing the shelters, you need to bring your own begging. Single or twin-size inflatable mattresses are preferred due to limited space.

“We urge residents within the Woodlands neighborhood to leave the area due to updated expectations of significant flooding of your neighborhood streets, with the potential to impact your home,” said Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord. “Additionally, as the flooding progresses it is possible that emergency vehicles will no longer have access to your neighborhood.”

All residents should bring:

  • Five-day supply of all medications
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets
  • Extra chargers and batteries for electronics
  • Headphones for music devices
  • Snacks and “comfort foods” – meals will be served
  • Important documents including identification, medical history, and insurance
  • No weapons allowed
  • No illegal narcotics allowed
  • No alcohol allowed

Water Usage Alert

Shortly before 3:30 p.m., officials updated the water alert to emergency water use only citing that the sewer systems are overwhelmed.

“We have no storage for wastewater,” Bunnell City Manager Alvin Jackson said. The city of Palm Coast has many areas on an electricity-dependent pep tank system. Other unincorporated areas are on septic systems.

“It is critically important for everyone to limit their water usage right now,” said Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord. “We understand it is inconvenient but it’s for the good of the whole county.”

Originally, officials in Bunnell asked residents to limit their nonessential water usage starting Thursday morning until further notice due to overflowing manhole covers.

Jackson said the manhole covers are overflowing because of the rainwater. Residents should limit showers, toilet flushing and any other nonessential water usage.

“Please use water sparingly for at least the next 24 hours, but this could last longer because of the amount of rain we are getting at this time,” Jackson said.

Bunnell officials are working with the Department of Environmental Protection to find a solution.

Residents with special needs, those who live in an evacuation zone or require electricity for medical needs, are urged to seek shelter at the Special Medical Needs Shelter.

Bridge Closure

A bridge in Flagler County was partially shut down Thursday morning as the area started the feel the effects of Tropical Storm Ian.

Officials shut down eastbound lanes of the Moody Bridge (State Road 100) over the Matanzas River around 5:30 a.m. as wind gusts reached over 45 mph. Westbound lanes were still open when News4JAX was at the bridge.

News4JAX meteorologists said gusts in parts of the county have reached nearly 70 mph and winds will remain strong.

The bridge is near evacuation Zone B.

It was not immediately clear when the bridge would reopen.

The county said bridges to and from the barrier island will likely close at times, as winds reach or exceed 45 mph.

The county said it is also highly likely that emergency services will temporarily cease service, particularly on the barrier island. Residents can expect this to occur intermittently throughout the day, county officials said.

“We have to close the bridges and suspend services for safety reasons once wind speeds reach 45 mph, and we have begun to approach that threshold multiple times this morning,” said Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord. “It is important for residents to know we may not have the ability to send our first responders across the bridge, or into severe storm conditions, should individuals require assistance.”

Once the winds diminish, services will resume, and public works teams and utility crews will have the opportunity to assess conditions, handle downed electric lines, and removed debris and other hazards from the roadways.

“We cannot stress enough how important it is for everyone to be safe and stay safe,” Lord said. “We will be working diligently to get everything back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Flagler County officials issued an evacuation order, effective at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The order was for residents and visitors in mobile homes and RVs countywide, Zone A, the barrier island from Flagler Beach to Marineland and low-lying areas in Zone B, the Bulowville neighborhoods east of John Anderson Highway and the Palm Drive and Lambert Avenue neighborhoods.

Non-elevated homes in the low-lying areas of Zone F, which is the area surrounding and near Crescent Lake and Dead Lake to include Daytona North, are also in the evacuation order.

“We urge those who are going to stay with relatives, friends or at hotels to complete their evacuation by noon,” said Lord. “This will clear that traffic by 1 p.m. when those who are going to shelters need to leave. They will open at 1 p.m.”

About the Authors:

As a proud alumnus of Bethune-Cookman University, Kendra is a Jacksonville native, who loves all things lifestyle-related.