Coastal flooding affected St. Augustine Tuesday alongside blustery cold weather, and a higher than normal high tide could cause more issues today.
Some St. Johns County residents can also expect already-cold temperatures to dip to freezing this week.
The chance for more coastal flooding will likely be at its peak around 9:20 a.m. today with the high tide, National Weather Service Meteorologist Nate McGinnis said.
City officials have observed a one- to two-hour window around high tide for street flooding, said Jessica Beach, a city engineer.
McGinnis said the risk for coastal flooding will subside after this morning, but Beach said tides will still be higher than normal on Thursday.
As of Tuesday afternoon, a coastal flood advisory was in effect for St. Johns County until 1 p.m. today. High surf and high rip-current risks were also in effect on Tuesday.
Coastal winds and gusts of up to 40 mph, alongside higher-than-normal tides, have caused the coastal flooding, McGinnis said.
“I believe our tides have been about half a foot to one foot above normal,” McGinnis said.
Areas around Lake Maria Sanchez, Davis Shores and Fullerwood all saw flooding Tuesday, City Public Works Director Martha Graham said.
Coastal flooding is nothing new in St. Augustine. The city is installing valves in stormwater outfall pipes in Davis Shores to prevent coastal flooding caused by river water backing up into streets. The valves can’t prevent flooding when the water rises high enough to come over the seawall, which may have been the case on Tuesday in Davis Shores, Graham said.
Because nine valves still need to be installed, Davis Shores is still more vulnerable to coastal flooding than it will be when they’re finished, Graham and Beach said. The rest of the valves should be installed by the end of this month, Beach added.
Along the bayfront on the mainland side, the Florida Department of Transportation controls the road, so the stormwater outfalls are their responsibility, Graham said. She said the city will have to work with the DOT to get valves installed there.
The city expects to craft a plan for installing valves throughout the city as funding is available, Graham said.
Aside from coastal flooding, residents can expect some icy temperatures.
Lows this morning, as well as Thursday and Friday mornings, were projected to be below freezing in parts of St. Johns County, according to the National Weather Service.
“It is probably going to be a significant cold snap,” McGinnis said.
As for the chance of snow flurries, it’s not likely to happen here, he said. But it’s not out of the question as temperatures drop tonight.
“I would put that as a very outside chance,” he said.