Coastal St. Johns County is now under a “hurricane watch” as winds are expected to reach a peak of 35-45 mph and there is a potential for storm surge flooding greater than three feet above ground in some areas. This comes as Hurricane Ian is approaching Category 5 strength and landfall is expected to hit the Sunshine State beginning in southwest Florida today.
The St. Johns County Department of Emergency Management reported to Historic City News that hurricane winds are possible within the next 48 hours in Ponte Vedra Beach, Durbin, Palm Valley, Anastasia, and St. Augustine. Residents who are not evacuating are being advised to stay inside and make efforts to protect life and property.
In addition, the county called the situation “somewhat favorable for tornadoes.” On Tuesday, St. Johns County issued mandatory evacuation orders effective at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, for Zones A and B.
That includes the entire City of St. Augustine, the City of St. Augustine Beach, and those living on waterfront property or flood-prone areas. Additionally, an evacuation order is in effect for part of Zone F for residents south of County Road 214.
Emergency Management warned of “Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes can be damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles.- several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted.”
Watch for several fences and roadway signs blown over while some roads are impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes are impassable. Scattered power and communications outages, have been reported but are more prevalent in areas with above-ground lines.