St. Johns County monitoring and preparing for Tropical Storm Hermine

The National Weather Service projection for Tropical Storm Hermine.

St. Johns County Administration, the Emergency Management Division, and all departments are proactively monitoring the progress of Tropical Storm Hermine and preparing for the impact it will have on our community. The county is working closely with local service agencies including the St. Johns County School Board, the City of St. Augustine, Florida Power and Light, and a variety of other community service partners at the Emergency Operations Center to comprehensively prepare for the anticipated inclement weather and all resulting storm impacts.

For the safety and well-being of residents and visitors, St. Johns County is taking several precautionary measures:

Emergency Management: The St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center is operating at a Level 3 (monitoring) status, and is actively observing the storm and any potential threats to the community. Emergency Management staff has been in close contact with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the National Weather Service Jacksonville, and the National Hurricane Center and will continue to receive updates from each agency throughout the duration of the storm. Emergency Management will continue to closely monitor progress of Tropical Storm Hermine and will increase activation levels if necessary.

Sand Bags: St. Johns County is providing sandbags at five locations throughout the county for the public in preparation for Tropical Storm Hermine. 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 25 bags per person. The sand and bags are available between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. daily at the locations listed below throughout the duration of the inclement weather. For additional information, call (904) 209-0246.

  • Mills Field -1805 Race Track Road, in the overflow parking area.
  • Palm Valley -Under the Palm Valley Bridge on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway.
  • Ron Parker Park -607 Old Beach Road.
  • Sims Pit -536 S. Holmes Boulevard.
  • Town of Hastings Town Hall -6195 S. Main Street, behind the building.

Beaches: Vilano Beach was closed to vehicular access on Tuesday due to increased erosion, rising surf, unusually high tides, and current and projected significant weather events impacting the coast this week. Vilano Beach remains open to pedestrian traffic, but will remain closed to vehicular traffic for the immediate future. All St. Johns County beaches will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning Thursday, Sept. 1 and will remain closed throughout the duration of Tropical Storm Hermine. 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. The St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier will remain closed during tropical storm conditions. Pier staff will continue to monitor wind and weather conditions and will reopen the Pier when safe and appropriate. Storm events can cause injured and exhausted wildlife to wash up on the beaches. Please do not return injured animals back to sea. Contact the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at (904) 824-8304 to report the location of an injured animal. County staff or volunteers will respond to the situation.

Fire Rescue: During the last few days, the Department has participated in conference calls and meetings with Emergency Management and Fire Rescue Command Staff to discuss expected storm conditions and Department Operations. Adequate staffing has been scheduled and all apparatus and equipment remain in a state of operational readiness. St. Johns County Fire Rescue is prepared to respond to the possible influx of emergency events dealing with downed trees, power lines,and minor flooding as the storm moves through our area.

Marine Rescue: Marine Rescue will continue to issue Rip Current and High Surf advisories as well as flying red flags (high hazard, high surf,strong currents) on all beaches until ocean conditions improve.  While Marine Rescue lifeguards will maintain a presence on the beaches, they will not staff the stationary lifeguard towers until conditions improve after the storm.

Utilities–Electricity: Residents and businesses experiencing power outages are asked to call their utility provider to report interruptions and receive updates regarding restoration. Florida Power and Light customers can call 1 (800) 486-8243 and JEA electric customers can call (904) 665-6000.

Utilities–Water and Wastewater: Residents experiencing water issues are asked to call their utility provider to report interruptions and receive updates regarding restoration. St. Johns County Utility Department customers can call 904.209.2700 and JEA water customers can call (904) 665-6000. The Utility Department has implemented its standard operating procedures for storm preparedness. All backup generator fuel tanks, water tanks, and chemical storage tanks have been filled. The environmental laboratory will be fully functional with key personnel on standby to perform water testing if necessary, and operation staff will remain on call to respond to emergency situations as appropriate.

Engineering, Road and Bridge and Traffic Management: St. Johns County Engineering, Road and Bridge, and Traffic personnel are inspecting and fueling vehicles and equipment in preparation for the storm and will maintain adequate staffing levels to respond accordingly to debris, roadway obstructions, and traffic control device outages resulting from Tropical Storm Hermine. To report road debris, obstructions, or faulty traffic signals, call (904) 209-0170.

Solid Waste St. Johns County: Solid Waste is monitoring Tropical Storm Hermine and working with Republic Services and Advanced Disposal to adjust pickup schedules if necessary due to tropical storm conditions resulting in sustained winds of 40 miles per hour or more.Should pick-up routes be delayed, residents will be provided information regarding updated schedules. Debris pickup information will also be provided.

Parks and Recreation: All parks will remain open unless determined to be unsafe for the general public by staff. All equipment will be fueled and remain staged should inclement weather impact our parks or public access. No recreational programs have been cancelled at this time. County staff will follow the St. Johns County School Board’s actions regarding closures or early dismissal.

St. Augustine Amphitheatre: St. Augustine Amphitheatre staff remains on high alert and will continue to monitor the storm into the weekend and are prepared to adjust or cancel portions of the Sing Out Loud Festival and Tony Jo White concert at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall if necessary. For more information on Amphitheatre events, call (904) 209-3746.

Sunshine Bus Company: Sunshine Bus Company staff will make final decisions regarding possible transit service cancellations on Thursday based on the progress of the storm and EOC reports.

Animal Control: Animal Control officers will continue to answer calls for service with an anticipated increase in welfare checks on outdoor pets.  The division will remain on standby emergency activation as needed and all equipment will be fueled and ready for service. To report an animal-related emergency, call (904) 209-0746.

Library Branches: All libraries are projected to remain open during standard business hours and will continue to monitor the strength and progress of the storm, making scheduling adjustments as necessary. The Bookmobile has no scheduled stops for the week. The Bartram Trail Branch has rescheduled Thursday night after-school ACT and SAT classes to September 15. The Southeast Branch has canceled Zen Meditation and Mindfulness on Thursday, Mother and Daughter Self Defense on Friday, and Bellydance Basics on Saturday.

St. Johns Golf Club: The St. Johns Golf Club will monitor the storm closely and will suspend play as necessary due to dangerous conditions or heavily accumulations of rain on the course. Players with reservations will be contacted if the course closes. St. Johns County Administration and St. Johns County Emergency Management staff will remain in close contact with all departments, including Public Works, Utilities, Parks and Recreation, and Fire Rescue, for the duration of the storm to monitor impacts to facilities, programs, and services. Up-to-date storm response information will be posted at www.sjcfl.us, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SJCFL, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/StJohnsCounty and www.twitter.com/EOC, and on

Instagram at www.instagram.com/St.JohnsCounty. For more information on storm preparedness, including evacuation zones and shelters, visit www.sjcemergencymanagement.com.

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