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For The St. Johns River, Hurricane Dorian Shouldn’t Cause ‘An Irma Flood Scenario’

Hear this story airing on 89.9 FM WJCT.

A photo album of Hurricane Irma could include shots of waves splashing the statue in Riverside’s Memorial Park, homes fully submerged in Black Creek, and the aftermath of flooded homes in San Marco and along the Northside’s Ribault River.

But National Weather Service meteorologist Angie Enyedi said that was due to three main factors: Jacksonville was “inundated with an incredible amount of rainfall,” a big southerly wind pushed a lot of water into the downtown area, and there was an above-normal rise in the river level due to nor’easter conditions.

With Dorian, Jacksonville is experiencing just one of those three factors, the above normal river level. 

“So in addition to the current rises that we have out there, which is about 1-to-2 feet in some areas on the river, and that’s from the nor’easter we have going on… and also elevated astronomical tides, we do not expect that amount of rainfall that we had with Irma,” Enyedi said during a press conference with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry Tuesday evening. “We also don’t expect to have that southerly wind to push that water up in the river.”

Related: Jacksonville Mayor Curry Says If You Haven’t Evacuated, Shelter In Place

However, due to elevated water levels, Enyedi said there will likely be a storm surge of 2-to-3 feet along the St. Johns River.

Meanwhile, the coast could get up to 5 feet of storm surge and the Intracoastal waterway could see as much as 4.

Enyedi expects tropical storm conditions to be making their way past the First Coast late Wednesday evening. Then, she said, conditions should get back to normal.

“The weather looks hot,” she said. “High heat index on Thursday, Friday, is pretty humid, with heat indexes near 100.”

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at lkilbride@wjct.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at@lindskilbride

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