As residents along the First Coast began to wake up Monday morning, Hurricane Irma has been downgraded to a category 1 storm, but she continued to batter the area with rain and heavy winds.
With the 5 a.m. update, all of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida’s inland and coastal remained under a hurricane warning, which means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, according to the the National Hurricane Center. Southeast Georgia remains under a tropical storm warning.
Additionally, all of Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida coastlines are under a Storm Surge Warning, which means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours. This includes the St. Johns River, south to NAS Jacksonville as well as the coastline. This is a life-threatening situation and persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The latest update shows that Hurricane Irma moving north-northwest at 18 mph and has maximum wind speeds of 75 mph.
Northeast Florida will experience the storm’s biggest impact from late Sunday night through Monday, the National Weather Service in Jacksonville reported Sunday morning. The greatest potential for hurricane-force winds remains east of I-75, with tropical storm-force winds east of I-75.
Additionally, a flash flood watch is also in effect due to the threat of flood-producing rainfall.
Live blog: Tracking Hurricane Irma
Latest Hurricane Irma tracking map
Some highlights of the NWS report:
- All of Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida coastal areas should expect tropical storm-force winds late afternoon Sunday through early afternoon Monday. High-end tropical storm-force winds are expected late Sunday to pre-dawn Monday.
Areas of greatest risk for a potential storm surge include:
- Oceanfront: 3 to 6 feet
- St. Johns Creek, Entrance to Sisters Creek: 3 to 5 feet
- St. Johns River Sisters Creek, Blount Island to Downtown: 2 to 3 feet
- St. Johns River, Downtown, San Marco and Riverside: up to 4 feet
- St. Johns River, Buckman Bridge to Lake George: 2 to 3 feet
- Intracoastal Waterway: 2 to 4 feet
- Nassau and Amelia Rivers: 3 to 5 feet
Coastal areas of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia could see 8 to 15 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts. Inland areas could see 6 to 15 inches of rain, resulting in potential flash flooding and moderate-to-major flooding along Black Creek and Santa Fe, St. Marys and Suwannee rivers.
The track indicates an increased rick of tornadoes, especially in areas northeast and east of Irma’s center, beginning Sunday in Northeast Florida. The greatest threat appears to be Sunday and Sunday night in Northeast Florida and Sunday night and Monday in Southeast Georgia.