Flooding, debris and widespread power outages reported in St. Johns County from Hurricane Irma

As Hurricane Irma finished passing through Florida on Monday morning, it was unclear how badly flooding and winds had hit St. Johns County.


Crews were out assessing damage and clearing debris, and they were urging people to stay home and stay off the roads.

“They need to stay where they are,” said St. Augustine Fire Chief Carlos Aviles. “There’s a lot of … power lines down. I mean a lot. It’s pretty widespread. There are a multitude of hazards. We’re doing everything that we can to clear roadways and mitigate those hazards right now.”

The extent of damage was still unclear in St. Johns County.

St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver said Davis Shores, which received heavy flooding during Hurricane Matthew, had been flooded again.

“We know that it is less than last time,” Shaver said.

Also, the city’s water and sewer systems kept their integrity, and water didn’t have to be shut off in St. Augustine, officials said.

A lot of what is happening now is debris removal and search and rescue primarily in the county.

And there were widespread power outages in St. Johns County.

As of 1 p.m., more than 76,000 Florida Power &Light customers had lost power, and 10,200 had power restored, according to the company’s website. There are 86,800 customers in the county.

“I know …. we’ll be in for a much longer recovery of power [than in Hurricane Matthew],” Shaver said.

Multiple areas around St. Johns County were flooded, but it was too early to tell exactly where, said Jeremy Robshaw, St. Johns County Fire Rescue spokesman.

“We had significant storm surge as a result of Hurricane Irma. … We have significant damage throughout the county,” he said.

As of Monday morning, crews were doing search-and-rescue operations and assessing damage.

The county had responded to multiple 911 calls during the storm, Robshaw said.

St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar said one person died of what officials think was a heart attack during the storm.

Authorities on Monday were focused on protecting lives and property, Robshaw said.

“We are out there doing what we can to protect and ensure that we prevent loss of life in our community,” he said.

Other severe weather aside from flooding had been reported from Hurricane Irma.

The National Weather Service received a report of a tornado in Vilano Beach, which hadn’t been confirmed as of Monday morning, said Nate McGinnis, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. There was also heavy tree damage off U.S. 1, which might be connected.

Wind gusts of more than 70 mph had been reported near St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach and at the Northeast Florida Regional Airport, McGinnis said.