Vehicle access restricted on St. Johns County beaches

After nor'easter, beaches restricted due to unusually high tides

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. – All St. Johns County beaches are closed to vehicular traffic through Sunday due to unusually high surf and tides, county officials said.

Periodic coastal flooding, full moon high tides, and large waves are projected to create volatile ocean conditions.

The beaches remain open to pedestrians, but visitors are urged to exercise extreme caution as hazardous ocean conditions are not recommended for swimming or recreational activities

On Tuesday at St. Augustine Beach, Shelby Hackett was staying far away from the brown, murky waves. 

"We came out here on a fling. It actually seems crazy out here," Hackett told News4Jax. "You don't even have half of the beach down there. So it's, like, why go in the water if half the beach is gone?"

At Anastasia State Park, the gates were open and campers were there, but the nor'easter left its footprint on a walkway -- that's now temporarily a pond with nearly 3 feet of water.

Further down A1A in Vilano Beach and Porpoise Point, the beach was almost void of people. 

According to county officials, there isn't enough sand for the vehicles to ride on as the nor'easter caused more problems and the high tides are making sand erosion worse.

St. Johns County estimates it could need $75 million worth of sand to restore the beaches to pre-Hurricane Matthew conditions. 

Beach Services will inspect the beach throughout the week to reinstate vehicular access as soon as conditions allow. Download the Reach the Beach mobile app for daily beach driving updates, or follow St. Johns County Beaches on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SJCBeaches) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/SJCBeaches).

Also in St. Johns County, heavy rains from the nor'easter caused flooding Sunday in St. Augustine's Davis Shores neighborhood, the St. Johns County Fire Rescue Department said. 

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