ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – St. Johns County officials have declared a local state of emergency for Porpoise Point after this week’s nor’easter conditions washed away part of the county’s roadway.
The severe erosion comes after the area was hit hard two years in a row during hurricanes Matthew and Irma.
For the last two days, one truckload after another has been dumping rock, sand and concrete onto the eastern edge of Porpoise Point Drive.
"The county has been down here bright and early in the morning and they stay until dark until the tide runs them out. And I can’t say how much I appreciate all they’ve done," said Jeff Schubart, who lives on Porpoise Point Drive. "If it wasn’t for them doing all they could as soon as they did, it could be a lot worse."
According to the county, the nor'easter wiped out about 100 feet of road over the last few days. Now, crews are working to protect what’s left.
"This is the worst I have ever seen this area. The gentleman’s house behind me was built in 1986 and this is the worst he has ever seen," said Greg Caldwell, assistant public works director for the county. "So I will take that historical knowledge that this is one of the worst nor’easters that came through to hit this area."
Looking ahead, the county will work with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers to find a longer-term solution, which could range from dredging and additional sand and rock to an entirely new jetty system that could take three to five years to build. Locals hope that process comes sooner than later.
This week’s response is costing the county upward of $20,000. That money is coming directly out of the county’s annual budget for roads and bridges.