Storm Surge Floods Jacksonville, Forces WJCT News Director To Evacuate By Boat

Sep 11, 2017

Jacksonville is seeing record-breaking flooding as storm surge pushes the St. Johns River over its banks. One person feeling the effects from Irma is Jessica Palombo, news director at member station WJCT.

A Jacksonville Fire and Rescue crew loads a family's pet cats into their boat outside a home in San Marco on Monday afternoon.
Credit Jessica Palombo via WJCT / WJCT

First responders had to rescue Jessica Palombo from her home by boat. She’s the News Director at WJCT, and also happens to be nine months pregnant. She decided to shelter in place to be closer to the hospital, just in case. But then the water started to rise.

“Some Jacksonville Fire & Rescue people came and loaded us, four people and two cats, onto their boat. And they were so calm. We are so thankful they got us out of there. They had a little notepad on their laps with handwritten addresses with people who had called and asked for rescue. So they are going to be very busy continuing to get people out of there,” Palombo said.

Local officials are expecting historically high tides along the St. Johns River throughout the week. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is telling people in need of rescue to put a white flag or t-shirt outside of their home.