Photos: North Florida's fight with Hurricane Irma

September 14, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Yesterday in Middleburg, Florida, covered in strands of Spanish Moss and various pieces of foliage, I paddled up to the residence of James Wade. Thirty six hours before, floodwaters from the Black Creek occupied the second level of his home. The Black Creek feeds into the St. Johns and two days before, the St. Johns reach all time record marks. There was nowhere for waters in the creek to empty, especially during high tide. The high water mark in Middleburg was about seven feet above the previous records, recorded by a seventy year-old lifelong resident, who used spray paint on a telephone pole at the height of previous storms.


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Florida Begins Long Recovery After Hurricane Irma Plows Through State
MIDDLEBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 13: Homeowner James Wade removes damaged items as floodwaters from Hurricane Irma recede September 13, 2017 in Middleburg, Florida. Flooding in town from the Black Creek topped the previous high water mark by about seven feet and water entered the second story of Wade's home. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)


A group of men were throwing Wade’s water logged belongings onto a dock tied up in the back yard. No one was sure where the dock came from, but since the home was surrounded by water it was the only place to put items destroyed by Hurricane Irma’s flooding. They had tied it up to the house and underneath, there was an jon boat powered by a rope tied to the new shoreline and a few kayaks.

At one point, one of Wade’s neighbors walked by asking about a book of baseball cards while another neighbor ripped out crumbling pieces of drywall. Powdery smoke attempted to fill the room. Outside, there was little to no visual indications where the back yard ended and the creek began.


Irma's Aftermath : 47 photos from northeast Florida days after landfall of Hurricane Irma


Photos by Sean Rayford for Getty Images September 12-13 in Vilano Beach, Hastings, Middleburg and surround areas in Florida.


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