ASTOR – Lake County officials are preparing for possible flooding as a river flood warning will remain in effect for the St. Johns River in the Astor area for the week. Residents may obtain up to 20 sand bags from Lake County Fire Station 10, located at 23023 State Road 40, Astor, to help prevent flooding. Residents must bring their own shovels and must fill their own bags.
Emergency Management officials are continuing to survey areas prone to flooding. Currently, the St. Johns River has been flooding in low-lying areas of Astor, but rain totals being projected over the next 24 to 48 hours could cause the river to rise further, posing an added threat to homes and businesses in the area.
“While there is not significant flooding yet, with current rain patterns, road flooding will increase and some roads will likely become impassible due to flooding,” said Tommy Carpenter, Lake County Emergency Management Division Manager.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), each year, flooding causes more deaths than any other weather hazard. During seasonal storms, flash flooding may occur and cause severe weather-related hazards, according to the National Weather Service. Lake County’s Public Works Department urges citizens to be prepared when flooding occurs, and to never underestimate the power of floodwaters. Residents should abide by cautionary signs and barricades and never steer their vehicle directly into large puddles or hazardous conditions.
Residents should follow the following tips to remain safe:
• Monitor your NOAA Weather Radio for vital weather-related information.
• “Turn Around Don’t Drown.”
• Get to higher ground as soon as possible.
• Avoid roads already flooded and never drive through flooded roadways.
• Be especially cautious when driving at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers.
• If heavy rain is forecast or occurring, move vehicles and camp sites away from waterways.
Currently, all county-maintained park facilities, including boat ramps, are open. However, due to inclement weather, athletic fields and playgrounds are temporarily closed.
For more information on how to remain safe during flooding conditions, visit www.ready.gov/floods or call Lake County’s Emergency Management Division at 352- 343-9420.