JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In the Ribault neighborhood on Jacksonville's Northside, residents hit hard by floodwater during Hurricane Irma are now facing yet another problem.
Snakes have started showing up in their front yards and inside their homes.
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People who live on Ken Knight Drive told News4Jax on Thursday the neighborhood is being overrun with snakes.
"They just killed a snake yesterday across the street. A snake came out my house today and we just had a snake 30 minutes ago running through this yard right here," said resident Jamal Wilkins.
The snakes come from the Ribault River, which runs parallel to the neighborhood and is less than 100 feet from many homes. When Hurricane Irma caused the river to overflow, it flooded the area with not only water but hundreds of snakes.
The displaced snakes, some of which are poisonous, have taken up residency in people’s front yards and homes that got flooded out.
"I just grabbed the broom and ran it back out of the house. But we had another snake with his tail cut off," resident Ty Harden said.
Bernard Williams said he and other adults are keeping a watchful eye because children play in the yards where snakes have been spotted.
“I saw a snake slithering across the street and I told my friend, 'There’s a snake over here where people are still trying to get food and stuff,'" said Williams, who added his friend killed a snake by using a shovel to cut its head off.
But snakes are not the only threat.
“We got gators out here now, too. It’s not just snakes," Williams said.
Other neighbors also confirmed sightings, saying alligators have never come close to the homes before the flooding.
"(I've seen) three so far," Williams said. "The biggest I saw was 6 feet. They got a 4-foot one up there in the front.”
Residents are being told to watch where they step, especially at night when it’s difficult to see what’s in the grass without a flashlight.
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