Hurricane Irma’s Storm Surge Surprises Jacksonville

Hurricane Irma was the largest hurricane on record, and while it has passed Florida, the storm surge could continue for several days.

It rises feet in minutes and it can be more devastating than the winds or rainfall a hurricane might bring. It’s storm surge, and from Jacksonville to Fort Meyers, Fla., the giant super storm Hurricane Irma is expected to bring it to the Gulf Coast of Florida and Atlantic Coast of Georgia, according to CNN.

Get communities prepared for storm surge and flooding with resources below the story.

According to NBC News, the city of Jacksonville issued flash flood warnings for areas along the St. Johns River and has record flooding, surpassing the city’s expectations.

“It’s bad now. It’s going to continue to get worse,” National Weather Service meteorologist Angie Enyedi said at a morning briefing.

While Hurricane Irma’s winds peaked at 86 mph in Jacksonville, and rainfall ranged between 8 and 16 inches, the tides are pushing against the city, overflowing the St. John’s River’s banks by six feet. Mayor Lenny Curry reported a Category 3 level storm surge.

The Jacksonville Beach Mayor said on Facebook, that it’s that city’s worst flooding in 50 years.

Just south of Jacksonville in Clay County, Black Creek is expected to crest early Tuesday morning with local, state and federal agencies already are engaged in water rescue efforts, according to News4JAX.

Get communities prepared for flooding:

7 Must-Do Steps for Flood Disaster Preparation

8 Myths: Why Residents Fail to Prepare for Coastal Disasters

Know Your Evacuation Zone

About the author

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox is Editor of and Senior Editor at Lexipol. She is based in Massachusetts.