ASTOR -- Lake County is issuing a voluntary evacuation order effective immediately due to flooding predicted in Astor along the St. Johns River.
The National Weather Service has issued a River Flood Warning for the St. Johns River at Astor as Major Hurricane Matthew is expected to produce winds that will push water up the river. The river is expected to crest at Astor at 3.9 feet over one foot above normal flood level - between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday. Lake County officials are urging residents in the area to safely self-evacuate. Lake County Sheriff’s Office officials and Lake County Fire Rescue personnel will visit the area to alert residents to the potential risk. Those choosing not to evacuate may be faced with impassable roads, and will not be able to be reached by first responders in the event of an emergency.
Impacted areas may include Blue Creek Point, Astor Forest Campsites, Powell’s Subdivision
St. Johns Waterfront Estates, Holiday Haven Campsites and Alco Road.
The closest emergency shelters to Astor are Spring Creek Elementary, 44440 Spring Creek Road, Paisley and Umatilla Elementary, 401 Lake St., Umatilla. Both shelters are pet-friendly and Umatilla can also accommodate special needs persons.
“Residents in Astor have experienced flooding in the past, however this is a major hurricane with the potential to cause deadly prolonged flooding and should be taken seriously,” said Lake County Commission Chairman Sean Parks. “The safety of our citizens is our top priority and we urge residents near the river to evacuate to a safe location during this storm.”
Before flooding occurs, move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” Just six inches of moving water can knock people down and two feet of water can sweep vehicles away.
To sign up for the latest emergency notifications, visit www.alertlake.com. For more information about Emergency Management, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/emergency and follow Emergency Management at www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFLEmergencyManagementand www.twitter.com/lakeemergency. For the latest information, residents can call the Citizens Information Line 24/7 at 352-253-9999.