Flooding along St. Johns River raising concerns

Lake County leaders expect the St. John’s River in Astor to reach moderate flood stage by Wednesday morning. They want people who live along the river to be prepared for potential flooding.

Rain showers came and went in Astor throughout the day. The rain caused ponding on roads in some of the neighborhoods. It was about ankle deep.

“I don’t like hurricanes at all,” Don Walker of New Smyrna Beach said.

There were not many people out and about in Astor on Tuesday.

“No traffic at all,” Walker said. “It’s like I’m the only one driving.”

FOX 35 stopped in at a restaurant called Sparky’s place where lots of people stopped for lunch.

“So, we’ve had a bit of business,” Sparky’s Place employee Kellie Branch said. “Staying steady, and we’re going to stay open until the power goes out. We’re told by the owner.”

Many of the people and businesses hunkered down ahead of Hurricane Dorian. The community flooded badly during Irma two years ago. Astor is located along the St. John’s River. All eyes are on the river, which is already at flood stage. FOX 35 met a couple who has a house boat on it.

“My husband has to keep the ropes adjusted to protect the boat,” Karen Palmer said. “We’ve battened everything down because we’re on the St. John’s River, like I said, in Putnam County.”

People in Astor are hoping the river doesn’t rise much more and cause more flooding than just the ponding they’re already seeing.

“I’m not really worried about it myself, but anything can happen in the next one or two days,” Salvadore Martinez of Astor said. “So, it’s just better to be prepared, ready for anything.”

Lake County does still have all six of its shelters open. They’re expected to be open throughout the duration of this storm.