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Hurricane Irma: Northeast Florida Sees Flooding, Power Outages, Wind

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Florida Storms
Hurricane Irma's eye was still south of I-4 before midnight, but Jacksonville was feeling its outer bands.
  • Frequent tornado warnings are being issued in Northeast Florida as Hurricane Irma treks northward. Residents are urged to get to the most interior part of their homes when a warning sounds because tornadoes can form extremely quickly under these conditions.  
  • Meteorologist Jeff Huffman said the worst of the rain and wind could show up in Northeast Florida beginning at 3 a.m. Monday. "Rough" conditions are expected to persist for up to 12 hours after that.
  • Impacts from Irma, including strong winds, flooding, rainfall, storm surge and the threat of tornadoes will affect residents of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. 

Here’s an up-to-date list of shelter locations and evacuation orders.

Inland flooding and storm surge are also expected, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Angie Enyedi.  

“Impacts extend out from the storm — from the center of Irma —hundreds of miles. Irma is a very big hurricane. So, for us over Northeast Florida, this impact area will be coming northward over the next 24 hours,” she said.

Bridges over the Intracoastal Waterway in Duval and St. Johns counties were closed as of Sunday evening and will not reopen until they can be inspected after the storm passes. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it expected the Dames Point and Buckman Bridges would soon follow, with the Hart and Mathews Bridges' closure also likely overnight. High-profile bridges must be closed when sustained winds reach 40 mph. 

Clay County

Starting Sunday, Sept. 10, at 8 p.m. and lasting until Monday, Sept. 11, at 8 p.m., a mandatory curfew is in effect for public safety during Hurricane Irma’s impact. Residents in Clay County are to remain in their homes or inside a shelter during the curfew.

In Clay County, officials are warning of the potential of seeing 10 to15 inches of rain and flooding along the low-lying areas of the St. Johns River and along Black Creek in Middleburg, including the north and south prongs, after the storm passes.

Black Creek’s north and south prong are expected to be at flood stage Monday and crest at major flood stage Tuesday. 

Clay Electric Cooperative is asking residents to be prepared to go without power for a week or longer. The company is bringing in many outside resources to help speed restoration efforts. 

Anyone with questions for Clay County officials should call 904-284-7703.

St. Johns County

St. Johns County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents living in Evacuation Zone A and Evacuation Zone B. Residents living in boats, RVs, and mobile homes are included in this evacuation order. To determine your Evacuation Zone go to and enter your address.

A curfew will be in effect from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly beginning Sunday 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 in an effort to reduce incidents of potential looting and to protect those in areas which may not yet be deemed safe.

As of 12:30 p.m. Sunday, several streets in the city limits of St. Augustine had begun to flood and were closed to traffic. They included the bayfront from the Bridge of Lions to Orange Street, all of South Matanzas Boulevard, and the intersections of Arricola Avenue and Arredondo Avenue, Arricola Avenue and Coquina Avenue, and St. Francis Street at Cordova Street. 

Bridge closures include the Usina (Vilano), Bridge of Lions, O’Connell (312), SR 206, Shands and Palm Valley Bridges. The Bridge of Lions and the SR 206 Bridge in Crescent Beach ceased drawbridge operations Saturday.  The drawbridges will no longer open for marine vessels that are too tall to pass beneath the spans.

All beaches in St. Johns County are closed until further notice. This includes the St. Augustine Beach Pier.

Nassau County

Nassau County has issued a curfew, to include pedestrians and vehicles, beginning Sunday at 6 p.m. through 8 a.m. daily until cancelled or terminated, as a result of the impact of Hurricane Irma on Nassau County.

People in Nassau County are to remain in their homes or inside a shelter during the curfew unless they are an essential county employee, official, fire/rescue employee, sheriff’s deputy, authorized utility employee, county medical officer, authorized hospital employee, authorized contract debris employee, a state or federal official, or an authorized person approved by the county manager, sheriff, or director of emergency management.

People who refuse to comply are subject to up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Flagler County

A countywide curfew will be in effect from Sunday at 7 p.m. to noon Monday, and again from 7 p.m. Monday to 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Alcohol sales are suspended countywide.

All locations are now out of sand and will not replenish

Mandatory evacuations are in effect for Evacuation Zone A east of the Intracoastal Waterway, including Marineland, Hammock and Flagler Beach along A1A; Evacuation Zone F in western Flagler County including St. Johns Park and the Haw Creek Basin; as well as all low-lying areas subject to flooding, those who live in mobile homes, recreational vehicles, and trailers.

A mandatory evacuation remains in effect for evacuation zones A, B, C and F for all nursing homes, elder care facilities, other elder care facilities, community residential group homes and non-elder health care facilities and community residential group homes. Voluntary evacuation is also requested of residents who live coastal, Intracoastal and western Flagler near Dead Lake.


Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP
Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.