After leaving a path of destruction through parts of the Caribbean, Hurricane Irma’s eye moved through the lower Florida Keys this morning. By midday, the National Hurricane Center reported to Historic City News that the deadly Category 4 storm had begun to swing away from the Keys — and toward Florida’s mainland.
Irma was expected to hit the state’s southwest coast or skirt it closely later today, trundling its 130-mph winds toward northern Florida, where the Center believes it will then move inland. But first, Irma has Naples, Fort Myers and Tampa in its sights.
Residents across the state, from the southernmost tip of the peninsula to areas near Florida’s northern border, face what the Center calls a “life threatening” storm surge. Already, though, the storm’s force could be felt across the state on Sunday morning: More than 1.5 million homes and businesses had lost power and upward of 100,000 people had taken refuge in shelters by 11:00 a.m.
Irma is moving toward the north near 9 mph, and a north-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected later today, with that motion continuing through Monday. On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should move over the Lower Florida Keys shortly, and then move near or over the west coast of the Florida Peninsula later today through tonight. Irma should then move inland over northern Florida and southwestern Georgia Monday afternoon.
Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph with higher gusts. Ia is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. While weakening is forecast, Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane while it moves near or along the west coast of Florida.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 220 miles.
Potential Local Impacts:
- At this time, several streets in the city limits of St. Augustine have begun to flood.
- Johns County is currently under a hurricane warning. Hurricane warnings indicate that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected in the next 36 hours.
- Johns County is currently under a storm surge warning. A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations.
- Conditions are expected to deteriorate as the Hurricane approaches the area.
- Enhanced threat of possible strong tornadoes
- Excessive rainfall is expected to produce flash flooding and major river flooding.
- 5-10 inches of rain expected with potentially higher amounts possible.
- Johns County is under a flood watch until 2000 on Monday, September 11.
- Possibly damaging oceanfront surf and wave action IF the worst of the conditions coincide with the time of high tide
- Storm surge up to 2-4 feet along the oceanfront, intracoastal waterway, and the St. Johns River.
- Expect surf of 5 to 10 feet
Remember any deviation to the east increases the risk for our area.
Mandatory Evacuations of Evacuations Zones A and B and Shelter Operations began at 0600 on September 9, 2017.
St. Johns County will be holding a press conference at 4:00 p.m. today (9/10) at the Emergency Operations Center, 100 EOC Drive, St. Augustine, to discuss impacts of Hurricane Irma.
Today – Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. High near 80. Very windy, with an east wind 20 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 2 and 3 inches possible.
Tonight – Tropical storm conditions expected, with hurricane conditions possible. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Low around 74. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 3 and 4 inches possible.
Conditions possible – Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before 2pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. High near 84. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
|Arricola Ave & Arrendondo Ave||Closed||Intersection Flooded|
|Arricola Ave & Coquina Ave||Closed||Intersection Flooded|
|Bayfront from Bridge of Lions to Orange Street||Closed||Intersection Flooded|
|St. Francis St/Cordova St||Closed||Intersection Flooded|
|St. Augustine Blvd/Inlet Pl||Closed||Intersection Flooded|
|Entire S. Matanzas Blvd||Closed||Flooded|
|Pacetti Bay Middle School||Special Needs||115||300|
|Timberlin Creek Elementary School||Pet Friendly||99||500|
|Southwoods Elementary School||Pet Friendly||93||500|
|Bartram Trail High School||General Population||105||500|
|Pedro Menendez High School||General Population||Full||500|
|Mill Creek Elementary||Motorist &
|Florida Power & Light (FPL)||Outage:||4,270||1-800-4Outage|
|St. Johns County Utilities||Outage:||None reported||904-209-2700|
|Telephone / Cable||Outage:||None reported|
- Johns County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for those residents living in Evacuation Zone A and Evacuation Zone B beginning at 6:00 am, Saturday, September 9, 2017. Residents living in boats, RVs, and mobile homes are included in this evacuation order. To determine your Evacuation Zone, go to http://www.gis.bocc.co.st-johns.fl.us/MYEZ/ and enter your address.
- Johns County law enforcement agencies have announced a curfew that will be in effect from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. nightly beginning Sunday, September 10 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.
- The Florida Department of Transportation has announced that the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine and the SR 206 Bridge in Crescent Beach ceased drawbridge operations beginning at 4:00 p.m. Saturday. After 4:00 p.m., 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.
- Republic Services and Advanced Disposal have suspended all household waste and recycling collection services in St. Johns County for Monday, September 11 and Tuesday, September 12 in preparation for Hurricane Irma. In addition, yard debris collection services will be suspended Monday, September 11 through Friday, September 15.
- Please take this time to make sure that your NOAA weather radio is operational. The programming numbers for the NOAA weather radios are as follows:
- Northern St. Johns County – Jacksonville Transmitter – 162.550
- Southern St. Johns County – Palatka Transmitter – 162.425
- A.M.E number for specific County programming 012109