St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center reported to Historic City News this afternoon that they have been fielding numerous inquiries asking when it will be safe for residents to return to their homes on the barrier islands and other evacuation zones.
Bridges to the barrier islands remain closed due to sustained Tropical Storm force winds with higher gusts along the Atlantic coast.
“Bridges will not re-open until wind speeds drop to a level at which passenger vehicles can safely pass, and the bridges and approaches are inspected and cleared by Florida Department of Transportation engineers,” St Johns County Administrator Michael Wanchick said today. “It is reasonable to assume that bridges may remain closed until sometime Tuesday.”
In addition, first responders are discovering numerous hazards as they conduct initial damage assessments in the evacuation zones. They are finding many downed trees, power lines and roads covered in water and debris.
“St. Johns County firefighters and Sheriff’s Office deputies are coordinating with county Road and Bridge and electric companies to clear these hazards, but it will take time,” St Johns County Fire Rescue Lieutenant Jeremy Robshaw told local reporters.
The public and local media will be notified as soon as the bridges are reopened for travel. Announcements will first be posted to all county web sites and social media pages.