NOTE TO READERS: New announcements will be posted at the top of this thread; scroll down for older announcements, and check back often for updates.
County issues mandatory evacuation, opens emergency shelters
Due to intensified conditions of Hurricane Irma, St. Johns County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for 6 a.m. on Saturday for Evacuation Zones A and B, which includes the entire City of St. Augustine, the Town of Hastings, and those living on waterfront property within the evacuation zones.
Residents living in boats, RVs, and mobile homes throughout St. Johns County are also included in the evacuation order. Residents who are able to evacuate and are not utilizing a St. Johns County shelter should begin evacuating as soon as possible prior to the evacuation scheduled for 6 a.m. on Saturday in order to avoid traffic congestion.
St. Johns County will also open four shelters at 6 a.m. Saturday. The County is prepared to open additional shelters as needed. The following shelters will be open to the public:
• Pacetti Bay Middle School, 245 Meadowlark Ln. (Special needs)
• Timberlin Creek Elementary School, 555 Pine Tree Ln. (Pet-friendly)
• Pedro Menendez High School, 600 SR 206 West (General population)
• Bartram Trail High School, 7399 Longleaf Pine Pkwy. (General population)
While shelters provide safety throughout the storm, residents must bring supplies in order to maintain personal comfort and sustenance. St. Johns County recommends that all evacuees bring their own bedding, including sleeping bags or air mattresses, pillows, sheets, and blankets. A three-day supply of water, non-perishable food, medication, diapers, and other personal items are also suggested. Please refer to the list below for additional supply suggestions.
• Three-day supply of medications, insulin and cooler if you are diabetic
• Personal grooming and hygiene items, feminine supplies
• Extra clothing, eyeglasses
• Books, magazines, cards, games, etc.
• Pillows, blankets, sheets, lawn chair/chaise lounge
• Flashlight and extra batteries, manual can opener
• Personal identification/important papers
For evacuation information, including route maps and evacuations zones, please visit the St. Johns County Emergency Management website at www.sjcemergencymanagement.org/evacinfo.html and for more information, please call the St. Johns County Citizen Information Hotline at 904-824-5550 or visit www.sjcemergencymanagement.org/shetpub.html.
City Commission meeting scheduled for Monday cancelled
All administrative offices for the City of St. Augustine, St. Johns County and St. Augustine Beach are closed Friday and Monday due to the anticipated impacts Hurricane Irma could have on our community.
In addition, the city’s annual Ceremony of Remembrance for 9/11 and the regular St. Augustine City Commission meeting scheduled for Monday have been cancelled. The regular meeting of the Code Enforcement, Adjustments and Appeals Board scheduled for Tuesday has also been cancelled.
Meeting of the City Commission related to the 2017-2018 budget, scheduled for Sept. 7 (and Sept. 21) will be rescheduled as soon as possible and in compliance with state law.
Operational decisions beyond Monday will be determined based on weather conditions.
Residents with questions regarding Hurricane Irma should call the St. Johns County Emergency Operations hotline at 904-824-5550 or visit www.sjcfl.us/hurricane for more information.
County, cities announce Monday closures
All administrative offices for St. Johns County, the City of St. Augustine, and the City of St. Augustine Beach will be closed Monday. Operational decisions beyond Monday will be determined based on weather conditions.
Residents with questions regarding Hurricane Irma are encouraged to call the St. Johns County Emergency Operations hotline at 904-824-5550 or visit www.sjcfl.us/hurricane for more information.
Structural damage concerns? County Building Services Hotline activated
St. Johns County has activated a hotline for residents and business owners with concerns regarding property and structural damage due to Hurricane Irma. If you have storm-related structural damage or permitting questions, call the St. Johns County Building Services Structural Hotline at 904-827-6836.
UPDATE: Sandbags are no longer available at Francis Field. For additional information, call 904-825-1010.
YMCA closes area branches
The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast will close all branches all day from Saturday to Monday, with plans to open branches at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, depending on the impact of Irma.
FSDB classes not in session
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind will not hold classes Thursday, Friday or Monday.
SA Historical Society to close, cancels event
The St. Augustine Historical Society will close the research library, administrative offices and Oldest House Museum Complex at 1 p.m. Thursday. It will reopen on Sept. 13. The “Illegally Yours” photo at the Castillo de San Marcos scheduled for Sept. 9 is also cancelled.
Flagler College cancels events due
Flagler College has cancelled the following events and tours until the college re-opens on Sept. 13, unless otherwise notified.
• Crisp-Ellert Art Museum Exhibition: Gamaliel Rodriguez.
• Historic Tours of Flagler College
Flagler College announced its closure due to Hurricane Irma on Sept. 6. For more information or updates on news and events, visit www.flagler.edu.
Catholic schools, parishes to close
Bishop Felipe Estévez of the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine will close all diocesan offices and Catholic schools on Friday and Monday.
Catholic Schools for all 17 counties of the diocese, including St. Johns County, will be closed on Friday and Monday, as well. Check the diocesan website at www.dosafl.com for the operation status of each school. The diocese owns and operates 36 schools including early learning centers, preschools, elementary and high schools and a special education school.
Parishes are continuing their preparations to minimize the impact of the storm to our facilities.
Pastors at each parish will determine if they are celebrating Mass on Saturday and Sunday. Parishioners can contact their parish office for further updates regarding Mass schedules.
Beach will block beach access points
St. Augustine Beach will block A Street and Ocean Trace Road beach access points with sand in preparation for Hurricane Irma, City Manager Max Royle said.
Beaches closed to vehicles in preparation for Hurricane Irma; caution urged
All St. Johns County beaches are closed to vehicular traffic will remain closed throughout the duration of Hurricane Irma. All trash receptacles, portalets, cones, and other beach infrastructure will be removed. Coastal flooding could warrant multiple day closures of certain beach access ramps. Beach Services will inspect the beach during and after the event to reinstate vehicular access as soon as conditions allow.
As Hurricane Irma approaches the coast, surf conditions are expected to increase significantly as well as dangerous rip current activity. Residents are encouraged to avoid the beach and ocean swimming until conditions improve.
In addition, the St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier will close Friday and will remain closed throughout the duration of the storm. Pier staff will continue to monitor wind and weather conditions and will reopen the Pier when safe and appropriate.
For more information on Hurricane Irma-related updates, visit www.sjcfl.us/hurricane or call the St. Johns County Emergency Management Citizen Information Line at 904.824.5550.
Walking tour postponed
The walking tour of Jewish St. Augustine scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday has been postponed. The tour, sponsored by the St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society, will be rescheduled and announced at an early date.
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How to share news tips, media
Readers can share tips and media with Record reporters before, during and after a storm by calling 819-3504. Send photos to email@example.com, or tag on social media with #staugustinerecord. Direct messages can also be sent through The Record’s Facebook page.
Government offices to close; evacuation decision expected before Saturday
All administrative offices for St. Johns County, the City of St. Augustine, and the City of St. Augustine Beach will be closed Friday. Operational decisions beyond Friday will be determined based on weather conditions by the end of the day Friday.
St. Johns County and the municipalities anticipate and are planning for a mandatory evacuation of barrier islands, low-lying areas, and waterfront properties. In anticipation of a mandatory evacuation, voluntary evacuations are encouraged at this time and shelter planning is in process. Should a mandatory evacuation occur and weather conditions warrant, water and sewer services may be suspended on the barrier islands to protect the integrity of the water system.
Announcements regarding a mandatory evacuation and shelter openings will be made prior to Saturday. Residents with questions regarding Hurricane Irma are encouraged to call the St. Johns County Emergency Operations hotline at 904-824-5550 or visit www.sjcfl.us/hurricane for more information.
Preparedness tips, info for SJC residents
An online version of the St. Johns County Hurricane Preparedness Guide as well as a number of links with other helpful information can be found at www.SJCemergencymanagement.org.
County activates Emergency Operations Center hotline
In response to Hurricane Irma, the St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center has opened a hotline — 904-824-5550 — for residents to call regarding County services, storm response, events and non-emergency storm-related information. The hotline will be available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 911. For additional Hurricane Irma-related information, visit www.sjcfl.us/hurricane.
County schools closed Friday, Monday
All schools in the St. Johns County School District will be closed Friday and Monday due to Hurricane Irma. Schools will operate as normal on Thursday and scheduled evening activities will take place. District administration is working with the County’s Emergency Operations Center and will provide additional updates as necessary at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us.
In addition to media outlets, St. Johns County residents looking for storm-related updates and weather advisories should keep an eye on the following sites:
Florida Attorney General activates Price Gouging Hotline
As Hurricane Irma’s projected track and growing strength spurred runs on water and long gas lines around St. Johns County and other parts of Florida this week, the Florida Attorney General’s office activated the Price Gouging Hotline to make sure businesses aren’t taking advantage of customers
Consumers who see massive price hikes in food, water, hotels, ice, gasoline, lumber and equipment for hurricane preparation compared to last week can call 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) to report the business.
County offers free sandbags
St. Johns County is providing free sandbags at six locations throughout the county for the public in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The sand and the bags will be provided free of charge. Residents must provide their own transportation and shovels, and will be responsible for filling their own bags. There is a maximum allocation of 20 bags per person. The sand and bags are available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily throughout the duration of the inclement weather event. For additional information, call 824-5550.
• Windswept Acres Park, 5335 State Road A1A South.
• Sims Pit, 536 S. Holmes Blvd.
• Town of Hastings Town Hall, 6195 S. Main St., behind the building.
• Mills Field, 1805 Racetrack Rd., in the overflow parking area.
• Palm Valley, Under the Palm Valley Bridge on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway.
• North Beach Park, 3721 Coastal Highway (at the walkover).
7th Judicial Circuit courthouses to close Friday through Tuesday
Chief Judge Raul A. Zambrano has ordered the closure of all courthouses in the 7th Judicial Circuit, effective 5 p.m. on Thursday until 8 a.m. Wednesday. This closure includes Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Courthouses will reopen Wednesday, weather and facility conditions permitting.
The 7th Circuit includes Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties. This order affects the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center in Bunnell, the Putnam County Courthouse in Palatka, the Richard O. Watson Judicial Center in St. Augustine, the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand, the S. James Foxman Justice Center in Daytona Beach and the two Volusia County Courthouse Annexes in Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach.
During this emergency, all court deadlines will be extended and all scheduled court hearings will be rescheduled when court resumes.
First Appearance hearings, including juvenile detention and shelter hearings, will be conducted Friday and Saturday mornings, Sept. 8 and Sept. 9, at 8:30 a.m. in all four counties. There will be no First Appearances or related proceedings on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday (Sept. 10-12).
Updates will also be posted at http://www.circuit7.org and via Twitter, @7thCircuitFL.
SAB cancels Monday Commission meeting
Monday’s scheduled St. Augustine Beach City Commission meeting and budget hearing at St. Augustine Beach City Hall have been canceled because of Hurricane Irma, according to the city’s website. The meetings will be rescheduled.
City cancels budget meetings
The City of St. Augustine’s budget hearings scheduled for Thursday have been cancelled and will be rescheduled as soon as possible. The meetings were related to the city’s two Community Development Areas, the Historic Area CRA and the Lincolnville CRA, and adoption of a tentative millage rate. The cancellation was made possible by an Executive Order signed by Gov. Rick Scott waiving statutory timing requirements regarding millage and budget hearings because of Hurricane Irma. For more information, call 904-825-1006.
SJR State cancels classes
All St. Johns River State College campuses will be closed Friday and will remain closed until further notice. School officials will continue to monitor developments relating to Irma; updates will be relayed via the college website, email, text alerts and Facebook as these resources remain accessible.
Zoning and Adjustment Board meeting cancelled
The Ponte Vedra Zoning and Adjustment Board meeting scheduled for Monday has been cancelled. Notice will be given when a rescheduled date is determined.
Water Management District closes public lands
The St. Johns River Water Management District is closing all its public lands districtwide at 5 p.m. Thursday in advance of Hurricane Irma. The closure includes the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. Properties will remain closed for the public’s safety until further notice to allow district staff the opportunity to assess and clean up damage on properties. Groups with camping reservations will be notified by email.
For updates on district operations, visit www.sjrwmd.com.
Sing Out Loud canceled, other concerts postponed
Organizers of the Sing Out Loud Festival have canceled this weekend’s concerts because of Irma. For information on the Sing Out Loud Festival, go to singoutloudfestival.com. Also, Thursday’s Modest Mouse concert and Friday’s Blackberry Smoke concert have been postponed. For information, go to staugamphitheatre.com.
Spanish Wine Festival cancelled
Organizers of the Spanish Wine Festival, scheduled for Sept. 8-10, announced Wednesday that the event has been cancelled. From an announcement on the festival’s website: “Due to the impending effects of Hurricane Irma, and upon the advice of the City of St. Augustine, this weekend’s events have been cancelled. After the storm has passed, every effort will be made to re-schedule each of the St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival events.” For details, visit www.spanishwinefestival.com.
FOY to close, Founders Day event cancelled
The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park will close at noon Thursday until further notice. The park’s Founders Day event, slated for Saturday, is cancelled.
Ponte Vedra Auto Show rescheduled for Sept. 24
The Ponte Vedra Auto Show has been rescheduled for Sept. 24. Originally planned for Sunday, the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce has announced that because of the possibility of adverse weather conditions it is in all parties’ best interest to reschedule the annual event. The auto show will take place at the Nocatee Town Center starting at 9 a.m. and ending after the awards ceremony concludes at 3 p.m. For more details, visit www.PVAutoshow.com.