Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Downtown St. Augustine under water as Ian blows through

State Road A1A in downtown St. Augustine flooded during Tropical Storm Ian.
Flood waters from Tropical Storm Ian swamped State Road A1A in downtown St. Augustine.

Downtown St. Augustine felt the force of Tropical Storm Ian on Thursday as water breached the sea wall and rushed into the historic city.

By afternoon, water had flooded State Road A1A near the Bridge of Lions and pushed inland toward North Ponce De Leon Boulevard.

Significant flooding also hit St. Hastings, Flagler Estates and other low-lying areas, comparable to what the region experienced during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, said County Administrator Hunter Conrad.

St. Johns County recorded sustained winds of 35 to 50 mph with higher gusts. More than 300 people were rescued Thursday, said St. Johns County Fire Rescue Chief Jeff Prevatt.

“This is still an extremely dangerous storm,” Prevatt said. “We are still actively responding to calls. We have made multiple rescues today. And, if you don't need to be out in this weather in the storm, it's a long way from over. Please stay home.”

The Bridge of Lions is the only bridge that remains closed. It will reopen when flooding subsides.

Greg Caldwell, St. Johns County’s director of public works, said his team tried to assess properties along A1A but couldn’t go farther south that State Road 206. "There’s a lot of flooding going on on those roads out there,” he said.

City officials urged people to stay out of the area and avoid driving through standing water. St. Augustine’s city manager said moving vehicles can push water into houses that were not previously flooded.

Read more about this story at WJCT News partner News4Jax.