Clay County residents urged to clear yards, secure pets in preparation for Ian

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CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – John Ward, the director of Clay County Emergency Management, says wind speeds due to Ian could be a factor that might catch some residents off guard.

It’s also why they’re advising residents to check their yards for dead of loose tree limbs, debris and anything else that might get carried away.

While those near Doctor’s Lake and Green Cove Springs are more used to dealing with gale-force winds, those further inland may be caught off guard when Ian reaches Clay County.

“We’ve had gusts, but our inland county residents have never seen sustained tropical force winds since 1964,” Ward said.

LINKS: Tracking the Tropics: Interactive map | Know Your Zone: Your flood risk | Plan & Prepare: Resources to be prepared

The county’s emergency management agency is advising residents to use the days and hours before the storm arrives to clear their yards, secure their pets and stock up on supplies.

Resident Steve Giadazs spent his Monday morning at the store getting food, water and even water purification tablets, just in case.

Other residents were rolling out their portable generators to prepare for a possible power outage.

Those in flood-prone areas, including spots by Black Creek, are also closely watching the storm models.

Recent rainfall left the ground fairly saturated, meaning when rain comes down, flooding happens that much faster.

“Obviously, we’ll be watching our, you know, areas that normally have urban flooding, you know, Black Creek — we’re going to be monitoring those type of things. But when you start talking significant rainfall countywide when we’re already saturated, you know, it’s really paying attention to that,” Ward said.

The storm is also expected to temporarily halt some construction projects, including a yearlong storm water system replacement, which is being upgraded for exactly this type of situation.

Another thing the county is checking are storm drains. They say you can actually help them out with that by checking the drains near your property. Make sure they’re not blocked or plugged up with any debris.

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