Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nassau Sees More Flooding; the County's Residents Say They've Never Seen Water Levels So High; Many Were Evacuated

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nassau Sees More Flooding; the County's Residents Say They've Never Seen Water Levels So High; Many Were Evacuated

Article excerpt

Byline: DANA TREEN and TIMOTHY J. GIBBONS

On Sunday afternoon, Christina and Ronnie Moore thought about putting the televisions from their already flooded home into the attic in case the water continued to rise.

The couple, and others among 20 neighbors beside Thomas Creek on the Nassau County side of the line with Duval County, said the creek has risen like nothing anyone can remember.

When there were no more sandbags at the hardware store, the Moores bought potting soil and bags of cow manure to stack and stave off the water. They still have more than a foot of water inside their house on Fouracre Circle, they said.

"Cow manure is everywhere," Christina Moore said.

As Tropical Storm Fay lingered in the area, she dumped as much as 20 inches of rain in some places, said meteorologist David Shuler of the National Weather Service in Jacksonville. Most of that fell Thursday and Friday.

"Rivers, creeks, streams are all running high because of Fay," he said Sunday.

The St. Marys River in Macclenny was still rising Sunday and is expected to peak at 21.5 feet this afternoon. And Duval County escaped the heavy rains that fell downstream on Black Creek in Clay County, he said.

The heaviest impact Sunday was felt along Thomas Creek in Nassau.

Earlier Sunday, National Guardsmen helped more than a dozen people evacuate from flooded areas near the creek, said Nassau County Emergency Management Director Nancy Freeman.

Some homes in the area had up to 8 feet of water in them, Freeman said, although most had less.

"Some people stayed because their homes were elevated," she said, "but as the water started to rise, they decided to leave."

A number of smaller streams feed into the waterway, Freeman said, meaning a constant flow of water into the swollen creek.

The county does not have gauges on the creek, but the water did get to about 18 inches from the bottom of the bridge at Lem Turner Road on Saturday and continued to creep up in some areas throughout Sunday. …

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