As Hurricane Matthew Rolls Into Saint Augustine, The Old City Hunkers Down

As Hurricane Matthew Rolls Into Saint Augustine, The Old City Hunkers Down

Hurricane Matthew has drawn the eyes of the world to the east coast of Florida, and the nation’s oldest city Saint Augustine

As the rains began to pound Saint Augustine, I closed up shop at our corporate offices at 134 Riberia Street #4, and headed over to Vilano Beach to stock up on food at the Publix and to check out the waves on the beach. While there I took the video you see below, posted it to our Instagram page and  drove home. In the time it took me to do that, the Weather Channel had already left me a message on our channel asking if they could use my video on television. That’s how closely this storm is being watched right now.

Matthew won’t officially arrive till late Thursday evening, but his “advance team” is already making their presence known as seen in this video taken this afternoon:

All over town today, storefront windows were being hidden behind rough-hewn plywood sheets to protect the glass from the ever-increasing winds. Most of the residents of Anastasia Island have already been evacuated, with many more in the process of leaving. Just how bad will Hurricane Matthew get? Nobody really knows, that’s why so many precautions are being taken.

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The St. Johns County Emergency Management group has released the following:

Hurricane Matthew is a category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 mph. Its current location is about 65 miles NNW of the Eastern Tip of Cuba and moving to the north at 10 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles. On the current official forecast track, a turn toward the north-northwest is expected today, followed by a northwest turn tonight. Matthew will be moving across the Bahamas through Thursday, and is expected to be very near the east coast of Florida by Thursday evening. read more

St. Johns County is providing free sandbags beginning at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, October 5 at five locations throughout the County for the public in preparation for Hurricane Matthew. 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 5:00 p.m. daily throughout the duration of the inclement weather event. For additional information, please call 904.209.0246.

  • 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.
  • Mills Field – 1805 Racetrack Road, in the overflow parking area.
  • Palm Valley – Under the Palm Valley Bridge on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway.

For more information, you can visit the emergency management website by clicking here.

UPDATED 10:46 PM EST ———————

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – In response to the projected track of Hurricane Matthew, St. Johns County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for 6 a.m. on Thursday for residents living in Evacuation Zone A and parts of Evacuation Zone B.

At a special press conference Wednesday night, county officials, including the administrator, sheriff’s office and fire rescue, also say that the entire City of St. Augustine should evacuate.

Storm surges are expected to be as high as 6 to 8 feet with waves much higher.

If you live east of the Intracoastal waterway, including Ponte Vedra Beach, South Ponte Vedra Beach, Vilano Beach, St. Augustine Beach, Butler Beach, Crescent Beach and Summer Haven, you must evacuate.

Residents located along the St. Johns River and west of State Road 13 including the town of Hastings are to evacuate as well – including residents who live south of the Northeast Florida Regional Airport east of U.S.1 to the county line.

If you live in a bot, RV or mobile home anywhere in St. Johns County you must also evacuate.

People who can evacuate but aren’t using a shelter should evacuate as soon as possible before 6 a.m. Thursday.

Emergency links by county ahead of Hurricane Matthew

The following informational items are based on current knowledge of the projected path for Hurricane Matthew and could change depending on the storm’s evolution:

• Local State of Emergency: In preparation for Hurricane Matthew, St. Johns County has declared a Local State of Emergency in order to access federal and state resources.

Management website here

• Emergency Shelters: Shelter locations will be opened in conjunction with the official evacuation order beginning at 6 a.m. on Thursday, October 6. The following shelters will be operational at that time:

Pacetti Bay Middle School, 245 Meadowlark Lane (Special needs)

Timberlin Creek Elementary School, 555 Pine Tree Lane (Pet-friendly)

Bartram Trail High School, 7399 Longleaf Pine Pkwy (General population)

In the meantime, we advise staying off the roads if you possibly can. Get inside where it is safe and dry and stay there. If you need shelter from the storm, click here for a full listing of  St. Johns County Hurricane Evacuation Shelter Locations. Contact the Department of Emergency Management at (904) 824-5550 to find out which Shelters are open when an evacuation order is given.

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As Hurricane Matthew Rolls Into Saint Augustine, The Old City Hunkers Down