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First Coast

T-U Report Raises Questions About St. Johns River Flooding

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Will Dickey
/
The Florida Times-Union
Urban Flood Water Rescue Team 2, with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, makes its way along San Marco Boulevard on the Southbank of downtown as Hurricane Irma passes by Sept. 11.

Our Florida Times-Union news partner reports that decades of deepening the river, combined with severe storms like Hurricane Irma, have brought the Atlantic Ocean right to the doorstep of downtown Jacksonville.

It’s raising new questions about the long-term impact of the expected dredging project for the St. Johns River shipping channel.

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Listen to the full First Coast Connect Interview.

One point of concern: The U.S.  Army Corps of Engineers has never studied how man-made changes to the river might make the city of Jacksonville more vulnerable to storm surge and flooding.

“Even if the Army Corps presents findings before a judge drawn with Crayola crayons, the judge usually has to side with the Army Corps. That’s the way the law is written,” said Times-Union reporter Nate Monroe on Thursday’s First Coast Connect.

The Times-Union also reports that city officials are only just beginning to grapple with the reality of a rising St. Johns River, and potential future catastrophic flooding events.

You can read the Times-Union’s “As The Ocean Creeps In” reporting here.

Melissa Ross can be reached at mross@wjct.org, 904-358-6382 or on Twitter at @MelissainJax.