OSTEEN, Fla. – A Florida deputy's sign of patriotism is shining brightly amid the gloom and destruction of Hurricane Ian.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office went out on the rising St. Johns River in Osteen, where deputies saw an American flag needing rescue. According to the U.S. Flag Code, the American flag should not touch anything beneath it, including the ground, the floor or water.
"This shows you just how high the river is right now," the sheriff's office said on Facebook. "Some homes along the (St. Johns River) are inches away from flooding due to a boat wake."
Volusia County is currently under a Flood Warning for the St. Johns River near DeLand and Astor, as excessive rainfall from Ian moves downstream through the basin.
"Ian has caused record-high levels on the St. Johns River, and it's still rising," the sheriff's office said. "For the sake of everyone who lives along the river, please stay off the water this week and help us protect homes from flooding if they haven't already."
The forecast point at Astor crested above record flood stage at 4.71 feet early Saturday morning, county officials said on their website. Levels will remain steady at 4.5 feet and in major flood stage into the weekend.
Interests along the river should expect major flood impacts to continue.
Across Volusia County, deputies said they saw more than 1,000 requests for rescue following Ian's landfall. Between Sept. 28-29 and Thursday, 911 dispatchers handled 11,954 calls for service – handling almost five times their normal call volume in one day alone.