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Water-Related News

Hurricane Ian leaves St. Johns River swollen and stressed

Hurricane Ian has flooded homes all along the St. Johns River. High waters after the hurricane also are stressing the river itself.

WMFE environmental reporter Amy Green talked with St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman about how the hurricane has affected the river, and how communities along its banks could experience more flooding.

RINAMAN: Sadly the river has crested its banks and is running into many homes. There’s about 200 homes that have been flooded in Welaka, Fla. Water standing in driveways as well as in streets and homes in that area. Astor community is flooded. And so we’re sadly you’re seeing it over its banks in many stretches from Brevard County all the way up to Putnam County.

GREEN: What does high water do to the river itself? How does high water affect the environment, or the condition of the river itself like that?

RINAMAN: Sure. So with the St. Johns River watershed is at 8,800 square miles, and so when you have a significant historic rain event like we just did, that water is continuing to pulse through the system.

And when you have flooding, not only do you get water into homes and cause property damage. It washes in a lot of pollution and debris into the St. John’s.