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