GREEN COVE SPRINGS | Hurricane Irma destroyed or closely broken at the least 450 Clay County houses, ruined roads and despatched almost 900 residents to the 5 emergency shelters.
John Ward, county emergency administration director, reeled off these grim statistics in a preliminary injury evaluation report Tuesday afternoon to the County Fee.
Restoration and cleanup gained’t be fast. Nor will it probably be low cost, Ward stated.
“This was a catastrophic occasion for Clay County. Probably the most vital impression that Clay County has ever felt …” stated Ward, who praised the teamwork of county staff in any respect ranges, public security first responders volunteers and personnel from outdoors businesses for an outstanding response in the course of the emergency.
The storm surge fueled by heavy rains, despatched report flood waters pouring over the banks of Black Creek destroying houses, splintering boat homes and docks, sweeping away household treasures, and shattering the lives of longtime residents and newcomers.
The flood waters topped out at 28.5 ft on each the creek’s North and South prongs Sept. 12, simply eclipsing the North Prong’s earlier report of 25.three ft set in 1919. The South Prong’s previous report was 26.three ft in 1944, he stated.
“That is going to be an extended-time period restoration, each the rebuild of infrastructure, the rebuild of residences and the restoration course of goes to take time,” Ward stated.
As much as 14 inches of rain fell on the county, which additionally was whipped for greater than 12 hours of winds from forty five mph to seventy two mph or extra. Black Creek, the St. Johns River and different county waterways all flooded.
Ward stated at the least 858 houses have been impacted. Of these, a complete of 275 have been destroyed, one hundred seventy five sustained main injury and 124 had minor injury and the rest have been affected in different methods, he stated.
Emergency personnel rescued a minimum of 350 individuals from roof tops and porches, in addition to seventy five animals from the quick-rising flood waters. At the least 850 county residents together with some South Florida residents took refuge in county shelters.
County infrastructure took successful. There’s at the very least $600,000 in injury to county paved roads, about $200,000 to its dust roads. Injury to county marinas, parks and leisure amenities is about $226,000, he stated.
Particles from cleaned out houses and downed timber is being picked up as shortly as potential. Nevertheless it’s going to be months at the start is all cleaned up, Ward stated.
Residents with unmet wants…