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First Coast

Power Outages, Flooding Remain After Hurricane Matthew Passes Near First Coast

Updated 7:30 Saturday a.m.

On Saturday morning, city crews were hard at work clearing downed trees and beginning to restore power after Category 2 Hurricane Matthew passed dangerously close to the First Coast on Friday evening.

Mayor Lenny Curry is expected to brief reporters on the city’s plan for recovery efforts at around 8:30 a.m. Governor Scott is also in Jacksonville to assess damage and will speak around 10 a.m.

Beach and barrier island access is still cut off at bridges in Nassau, Duval, St. Johns and Flagler Counties as well as coastal Georgia.

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings have been canceled in Northeast Florida, but Nassau, Duval and St. Johns Counties remain under high-wind advisory until noon Saturday. Gusts could be up to 40 mph with sustained winds of 20-25 mph. Beware of falling tree limbs.

Several traffic lights are out, and downed trees are being cleared from intersections like Merrill Road at St. Johns Bluff and Forsyth Street at Ocean Street downtown.

The Dames Point and other bridges reopened overnight.

As of Friday night, Matthew was blamed for at least four deaths in Florida, but none on the First Coast.

POWER OUTAGES:

  • As of 6 a.m., nearly 220,000 people without power in Duval County

  • JEA customers should be prepared to be without power for “several days.” JEA says each outage must be assessed manually, so it’s hard to estimate exact times. The estimates listed on the JEA website are for “normal storm conditions,” so it could actually be longer.

  • Via Florida Power and Light, more than 50,000 without power in each St. Johns County and Flagler County

  • More than 30,000 without power in Clay County. From Clay Electric: “Some of our members need to be prepared for extended power outages that may last several days due to the severity of the damage expected from Hurricane Matthew.”

  • 10,000 without power in Nassau County

  • These are some of the more than 1 million without power statewide, according to Governor Scott’s office

JAX BEACHES:

  • Part of Jax Beach Pier washed away

  • Ocean flooding was up through at least 2nd Street

  • Beach residents will need photo ID with their beach address to be allowed to return to the evacuated zones.

 
ST. AUGUSTINE:

  • It’s expected SOME areas of the city will be available for residents and business owners to return to their properties on the mainland today.

  • It is not expected Anastasia Island will be reopened until Sunday or later depending on determination by the city’s public safety officials.

  • Those who evacuated Anastasia Island should remember that even after returning to their home, it is very likely that power, water and sewer service may not be immediately available.

  • For updates on the official reentry process, visit www.s-j-c-f-l dot u-s, or S-J-C-F-L on Facebook, or call the EOC Citizen Help Desk at 904-824-5550.

  • Because there may be water and sewer line break it may take several days to have service restored.

  • During the first 48 hours after water service is restored, customers should boil their water for one minute prior to use as a precaution against contamination.

  • A boil water notice will be issued to affected areas so evacuees and those who remained should have a plan for a fresh water supply, especially if power is not immediately restored.

  • During reentry, everyone, both evacuees and those who remained during the storm, should be careful of standing water hazards, debris obstructions, and domestic or wild animals that may be stranded from their owners or habitats.

Jacksonville Airport:

  • Jacksonville International Airport said Air Canada, Allegiant, Silver and Southwest airlines flights are canceled Saturday.

  • Passengers with tickets for today on any flight should contact their airline, not the airport, for the most updated status of their flight.

 

Original post below:

President Obama has signed disaster declarations for Florida and Georgia as Hurricane Matthew approaches the First Coast. The storm brushed Cape Canaveral early this morning.

As the city of Jacksonville public information office reported at 7:30 a.m., conditions continue to intensify as Hurricane Matthew is expected to reach Jacksonville within eight to 10 hours. Though expected winds speeds have been reduced, the storm remains a catastrophic and life-threatening event. Storm surge represents the greatest threat to public safety.

Storm Updates:

  • Expected rainfall is 6-10 inches along the coast and 4-6 inches inland.
  • Hurricane force winds are expected to be 60-80 mph with 90 mph gusts along the coast, and 40-60 mph with 80 mph gust inland.
  • A Storm Surge Warning has been issued for Duval County.
  • Storm surges are expected to be 7-9 ft. above ground level at the ocean front with battering breakers between 20-25 ft. Storm surges of 6-9 ft. are predicted along the Intracoastal and the northern St. Johns River, up to 3 ft. in Downtown Jacksonville, Ortega, and Julington Creek.
  • Elevated water levels will remain within the St. johns basin for about one week.
  • The city of Jacksonville remains under a Hurricane Warning
  • The area is also under a flood watch through Saturday.

According to National Weather Service, conditions will continue to deteriorate with the impact of storm being felt through Friday evening and into Saturday morning.
Original post below:

St. Johns County has a curfew in effect from at 8 p.m. on Thursday to 6 a.m. on Friday for the city of St. Augustine Beach, the city of St. Augustine, and portions of St. Johns County lying east of the Intracoastal Waterway on the barrier islands. The curfew will remain in effect nightly until further notice.

A curfew order mandates that anyone on the street may be required to produce identification to law enforcement officers to verify their address and purpose for being in the area.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said a curfew will also be enforced for all three beach communities from 10 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Saturday.

JEA is turning off water and sewer service at the Duval County Beaches starting 8 p.m. Thursday. Service will be reinstated after Hurricane Matthew, once crews can inspect potential damage and restore a healthy, safe flow of water. Until then, a boil-water notice will be in effect.

Duval County evacuation Zone C is now included in mandatory evacuations ordered by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. That's in addition to mandatory evacuations ordered Wednesday for zones A and B, as well as the Beaches communities of Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach and Atlantic Beach. 

Beaches residents and business owners will be required to show proof of residence or a utility bill to reenter the barrier islands once crews have assessed damage and deem the Beaches safe.

President Barack Obama signed an Emergency Declaration for Florida, ordering federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Matthew.

The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts for all First Coast counties.

A hurricane warning has been issued for all of Northeast Florida. 

To see which zone a home or business is in, visit JaxReady.org and click on "Evacuation Zone Maps."

The National Hurricane Center's latest track puts Hurricane Matthew brushing the coast of Northeast Florida on Friday afternoon. Tropical storm conditions are possible in inland Duval County starting Thursday night with hurricane conditions also possible. On Friday and overnight into Saturday, heavy rains and wind gusts should increase, with gusts up to 75 mph starting in the afternoon.  

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Duval County has five emergency shelters open: 

  • The Legends Center (5130 Soutel Dr.- 32208; pet friendly)
  • Chimney Lakes Elementary School (9353 Staples Mill Dr. – 32244; General population, pet friendly)
  • Atlantic Coast High School (9735 R. G. Skinner Parkway – 32256; pet friendly)
  • Twin Lakes Elementary School (8000 Point Meadows Dr. - 32256)
  • Landmark Middle School (101 Kernan Blvd. N. – 32225; pet friendly)

Original post below: 

The mandatory evacuation for zones A and B was upgraded from an urged evacuation as the storm strengthened Wednesday over the Atlantic Ocean. Curry says emergency personnel and rescue services will not be sent into the evacuation zones, and people should get out before the storm affects Northeast Florida.

An evacuation order for coastal areas of St. Johns and Nassau counties was issued just hours after Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry declared a state of emergency for Jacksonville, while calling for the evacuation of three beach communities: Neptune, Atlantic and Jacksonville.

The mandatory evacuation order for Nassau and St. Johns counties has been issued for coastal areas, including St. Augustine Beach, Flagler Beach, Vilano Beach, Butler Beach, Crescent Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach, effective at 6 a.m. Thursday.

MORE | Continue for evacuation zone maps

For Jacksonville, Curry expressed concern for Jacksonville's waterfront areas, as well.

"People need to evacuate the beaches," said Curry during a news conference Wednesday at the Duval County Emergency Operations Center. "We're not going to arrest people if they don't leave. We're not going to go in there and hold them accountable from a law enforcement perspective.

"They need to know when this thing hits and people have evacuated there will not be public safety folks available to help them."

Curry said evacuation notices are available on the JaxReady.org.

For those planning on evacuating, Curry said to leave as soon as possible.

"I would also remind people that South Carolina has ordered an evacuation, so there could be some traffic flows from South Carolina if you’re heading north," he said.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said traffic lanes on Interstate 10 and I-95 highway will flow in their intended direction, so consider alternate routes.

"If you’re going to take I-95 north, you’re encouraged to use the beltway. If you’re at Neptune or Atlantic beach you can use Atlantic or Beach boulevard," he said. "All of those normal routes of travel aside from I-10 and I-95, think about those as you plan to leave the city and use alternate routes."

Curry said the city is on a weather-related lockdown, beginning Thursday.

"We will be closing the city for non-essential employees," he said. "... We’ve spoken with the superintendent of schools and are working together. Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday throughout the city and the county and after school activities today will not happen."

Gov. Rick Scott directed state offices to be closed on Thursday and Friday, including all First Coast counties.

“I am directing all state offices in 26 counties to be closed so people who work there can stay home and prepare for this storm," Scott said. "I encourage everyone to prepare their homes, check on family and friends and evacuate if in an evacuation zone. This storm is deadly and everyone has to take this seriously.”

Evacuation map for Jacksonville

Evacuation map for St. Johns County

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Closures

ROADS

Main Street Bridge: The Main Street Bridge in downtown Jacksonville is now open.

Beaver Street from McDuff Ave. to Stockton St.: Two lanes open but significant construction.

State Street: Eastbound lane (ramp to I-95 southbound) is closed – barrels, cones and barriers cannot be opened or altered due to excavation.

I-10 at Cassat Ave.: Small local street Cassidy Rd. is closed allowing local traffic only. SR207 in St Johns County, Deep Creek: Bridge open one lane each direction due to significant drop off.

Road Rangers: will offer 24-hour service to motorists who are stranded or are in need, and as an effort to keep the roadways clear for traffic. Road Ranger assistance can be requested by dialing *FHP (*347).

The St. Johns River Ferry will be closed Friday.

JAXPORT is one of four cruise ship ports closed in Florida due to Hurricane Matthew. Other closed ports include Port Canaveral, Port Miami, Port Ft. Lauderdale and Port of Charleston in South Carolina. No cruise ships were set to return Wednesday, but the two from Port Miami and one from Port Canaveral scheduled to return on Thursday are now scheduled to return on Friday.

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BUSINESS

Cummer Museum: Due to the impending storm, the Cummer Museum will be closed Thursday and Friday. Updates on when the museum will re-open will be available on our Facebook page and website. Please stay safe and ensure your family is prepared for the storm as well. You can find a Hurricane Safety Checklist from the Red Cross here.

The Jacksonville Landing: The Landing will be closed Thursday and Friday, and is expected to reopen Saturday, weather permitting.

Riverside Arts Market: Riverside Arts Market has cancelled Saturday’s Filipino Pride Day and the market. RAM will return from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Oct. 15 with Yoga Fest, featuring a full day of yoga classes.

CareerSource Northeast Florida: First Coast CareerSource Northeast Florida will be closing beginning noon Thursday. Offices will re-open, conditions permitting, at 8 a.m. Monday.

Jacksonville Zoo: The zoo will be closed Thursday and Friday. Currently, the Zoo will reopen Saturday, pending weather. Brew at the Zoo scheduled for Oct. 7 has been rescheduled for Nov. 11. Vendors and ticket holders will receive an email with further details.

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EVENTS

Downtown Vision: The outdoor festivities for the Oktoberfest celebration at Art Walk for Wednesday has been cancelled. Numerous business and organizations are still planning to be open. Visit iloveartwalk.com this afternoon for a list of businesses that will be open tonight.

Ponte Vedra Concert Hall: The following performances have been postponed: Edwin McCain with special guest Danny Burns, Thursday; The Minneapolis Sound featuring Billy Buchanan – The Ultimate Prince Tribute, Friday; and Henry Rollins, Sunday.

Garbage day: Friday garbage collection in Jacksonville will be picked up Saturday.

Jacksonville Symphony: Two concerts have been rescheduled. The Symphony’s Coffee Concert Beethoven’s Fifth, scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, in Robert E. Jacoby Hall will be moved to 11 a.m. Oct. 28. All tickets for the Oct. 7 concert will be honored. The Symphony’s free Community Concert scheduled for Jacksonville Beach’s SeaWalk Pavilion on Friday has been moved to 3 p.m. Oct. 30. Tickets are not required for this concert event.

Duval Republican Party & all Victory offices: Campaign operations and all events will be shut down due to the storm.

St. Augustine Greek Festival: The 19th annual event, originally scheduled for this weekend, has been postponed to the weekend of Oct. 28.

TEACH: The TEACH Conference has been postponed for a future date in 2017.

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SCHOOLS/UNIVERSITY/COLLEGES

Clay County schools: All schools are canceled Thursday and Friday. The virtual planning day, which was scheduled for Friday, will take place Thursday instead.

Baker County schools: Schools will be closed Friday. Macclenny Elementary will open as an Emergency Shelter 6 p.m.Thursday.

Grace Episcopal Day School: The Orange Park school is closed Thursday and Friday

Jacksonville University: In preparation for the potential effects of Hurricane Matthew in our area, all university activities beginning at 3 p.m.Wednesday through Sunday, including but not limited to classes, sporting events, admissions open house, and homecoming & family weekend. More information about campus preparations will be available throughout the day today in emails to our students, parents, faculty and staff.  

For more information, ju.edu/weather.

Jacksonville County Day: School and all activities are canceled Thursday and Friday. Parents who have conferences scheduled for Thursday or Friday will be contacted to reschedule once school operations resume.

University of North Florida: The University of North Florida Crisis Management Team is cancelling all classes and student events after 3 p.m. Wednesday and cancelling all classes and student activities through Saturday. Classes and business operations are expected to return to normal Sunday. The campus will remain open throughout the storm.

Edward Waters College: Campus is closed through Sunday.

Duval County Schools: Duval County school officials announced just a few minutes ago that the entire district will be closed Thursday and Friday. That includes schools, after school activities, and extended day care.  After school activities have been cancelled this afternoon as well…and school officials are encouraging parents to pick up their children as soon as school ends. Key school sites will be made available as shelters if the Duval County Emergency Operations Center requests it. Officials anticipate school operations and activities will return to normal Monday.  Makeup weather days will be announced at a later date.

Catholic Schools: All Catholic Schools in Northeast Florida will close for after school care Thursday and all day Friday due to the threat of Hurricane Matthew. Schools include:

 

Clay

  • Annunciation Interparish School, Middleburg
  • St. Luke Child Care Center, Middleburg

 
Duval

  • Assumption Catholic School
  • Assumption Early Learning Center
  • Bishop John J. Snyder High School
  • Bishop Kenny High School
  • Blessed Trinity Catholic School
  • Christ the King Catholic School
  • Christ the King Child Care Center
  • Holy Family Catholic School
  • Holy Rosary Catholic School
  • Holy Spirit Catholic School
  • Morning Star School
  • Resurrection Catholic School
  • Sacred Heart Catholic School
  • St. Joseph Catholic School
  • St. Matthew Catholic School
  • St. Patrick Catholic School
  • St. Paul Catholic School
  • St. Paul Catholic School, Jacksonville Beach
  • San Jose Catholic School

 
Flagler

  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, Palm Coast

 
Nassau

  • St. Michael Academy, Fernandina Beach

 
St. Johns

  • Cathedral Parish School, St. Augustine
  • Cathedral Parish Early Learning Center, St. Augustine
  • Palmer Catholic Academy, Ponte Vedra Beach
  • Palmer Catholic Academy Pre-School, Ponte Vedra Beach
  • San Juan del Rio Catholic School, St. Johns
  • St. Joseph Academy, St. Augustine
  • St. Thérèse Early Learning Center, St. Johns

Florida State College at Jacksonville: The college is closed at 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Included with these closures, the following events originally scheduled have been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date. These include the JaxbyJax Sampler Event, originally scheduled for Friday; TEDxFSCJ: Engage, originally scheduled for Saturday; and the International Observe the Moon Night, originally scheduled for Saturday.

Nassau County: All public schools and district offices in Nassau County will be closed Thursday and Friday. All school related activities through Saturday are also canceled. Only personnel involved with emergency preparedness and response are to report for duty.

Episcopal School of Jacksonville: The school closes today at 4 p.m. All after school activities are also canceled. Grandparents' Day is canceled for Friday. In addition, the school and campus will be closed. After school activities and athletic events are canceled. The Varsity Football game is canceled.

Mandarin High School Parade, originally scheduled for Friday, has been canceled.

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SHELTERS

City Rescue Mission: The mission will expand capacity of its regular homeless shelter to offer disaster shelter for those without homes. Check-in at the center on West State Street downtown will begin at 2:30 Thursday afternoon. It will remain open until the storm has passed.

Salvation Army’s Towers Center of Hope at 900 W. Adams St.: The center will open its shelter as weather dictates and will remain open as long as needed. The Center of Hope information hotline is 904-356-8641.

The following shelters will open Thursday evening:

  • Orange Park High School (pet-friendly)
  • Lake Asbury Junior High School (equipped for special needs residents)
  • Keystone Heights Junior/Senior High School

Nassau County Emergency Public Shelter Locations

The shelter locations listed below will open at 6 a.m. Thursday.

General Population Shelters (no pets): Bryceville Elementary School, 6504 Church Ave. Bryceville; Callahan Intermediate School, Callahan; Hilliard Elementary School, 27568 Ohio St., Hilliard.

Pet-Friendly Shelter: Callahan Middle School, 450121 Old Dixie Hwy. Callahan

Special Medical Needs Shelter: Hilliard Middle-Senior High School, 1 Flashes Ave. Hilliard

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