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Hurricane Ian could bring 5-foot storm surge and 15 inches of rain

Tropical Weather
AP
/
NOAA
This GOES-East GeCcolor satellite image taken at 9:56 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, and provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows Hurricane Ian passing over western Cuba.

Hurricane Ian could cause as much as 3 to 5 feet of storm surge in Northeast Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

That's on top of up to 15 inches of rain that's forecast for the storm's latest track.

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Storm surge predictions show that areas along the Intracoastal Waterway and the St. Johns River and its tributaries will be the most likely to see flooding. A worst-case scenario could see much of Jacksonville's beach communities and St. Augustine flooded, along with low-lying neighborhoods near the river, like Downtown, San Marco and Riverside.

RELATED: A century of altering the St. Johns River has left Jacksonville more vulnerable to flooding

Hurricane Ian's projected track looks similar to the path Irma took back in 2017 to devastating effect in Northeast Florida — and further river dredging since then could have made the city even more vulnerable to flooding.

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Like Irma, Ian is expected to simultaneously raise water levels in the St. Johns and its tributaries and dump buckets of rain throughout the region.

The highest risk for flooding is expected to be around noon Thursday.

Special Projects Producer Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates several radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.