Taylor County prepares for Hurricane Ian

STEINHATCHEE, Fla. — As Taylor County residents prepare for the possible effects of Hurricane Ian, many residents of the coastal community are pulling their boats out of marinas and “taking no chances” with this storm.

David Purser lives about a four-hour drive from Steinhatchee and docks his boat at Sea Hag Marina.

“This place will go underwater. If the storm surge comes through, I’ve seen water five or six feet deep, boats going down this route,” Purser said.

He pulls his boat out of the marina to take it to higher ground, saying he knows how low the small coastal community is and the amount of flooding they see when there’s a storm surge.

Sea Hag Marina manager Chaeli Harden has lived in Steinhatchee all her life. She said the marina will do what it can to prepare, such as protecting their customers’ boats by moving some to higher ground.

“All of our boats that are not in protected areas, maybe hit by the winds first, we push them out of the way and move them to our hill,” Harden said.

Steinhatchee is located right next to the Steinhatchee River, with homes and businesses closer to the river being more prone to flooding.

“We’ve seen a lot of flooding here in the past, ranging from two inches to four feet or six feet,” Harden said.

Captain Mike Baker, who runs river tours and fishing charters in Steinhatchee, knows firsthand how the coastal community can experience major flooding.

“We have a lot of low areas that are way above sea level, but they kind of hold water, we don’t have good drainage here,” Baker said.

There’s one at the Steinhatchee Roll Off Site off Highway 51 and another in Perry at the Road Department off Highway 27.

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