Historic City News local reporters will follow Tropical Storm Idalia’s developments this week as Governor Ronald DeSantis warns that the hurricane will expose the state to potentially large-scale risks of property damage and personal injury as it continues to grow.
Here’s what is being done locally, as of this morning, according to the St Johns County Emergency Management office. As Tropical Storm Idalia moved east overnight, the Emergency Operations Center was activated to Level 2. The EOC will serve as our primary source for the latest local emergency updates during the storm.
Communications Office contact, Ashley Evitt, is reporting from the St Johns River Water Management District, as they do after all state-of-emergency declarations, evacuations, or when municipal or county resources are implemented as part of rescue efforts during flood-related disasters anywhere within the District. The SJRWMD often assists local governments in their response and recovery efforts.
While the Emergency Operations Center is activated to Level 2, they will:
- Maintain direct communications with the EOC of the state and any affected county
- Ensure current storm information is distributed to all District staff
- Direct the safe use of the District’s recreational facilities, such as campgrounds
- As of today, all public lands remain open for use. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and anticipate announcing closures of some properties later this week depending on the storm’s path.
- We are closely monitoring the storm’s path and water levels so we can provide information to the public and be prepared to assist our local government partners and other regional and state agencies as needed.
- Once tropical force winds reach the District, all locks will be closed. Current forecasts have winds arriving on Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
- Visit the District’s website at www.sjrwmd.com/storm for information and links to flood statements and warnings, river stages, and local government emergency contacts.
Property owners should be prepared for the storm by:
- Keeping debris out of storm drains and ditches
- Reporting clogged ditches to local governments
- Cleaning out gutters and extending downspouts at least four feet from structures
Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments will be CLOSED starting today, Tuesday, August 29, 2023, in anticipation of severe weather and potential impacts from Tropical Storm Idalia. While the storm track is unpredictable, based on existing information, park officials have decided to err on the side of caution and focus on visitor, volunteer, and staff safety, by this preemptive closure.