In southern St. Johns County, people were bracing Wednesday for possible flooding along the coast as Nicole headed toward Florida.
Breaches have also left part of A1A closed at Marineland at the St. Johns-Flagler County line after high tide brought water into the roadway Wednesday morning. The flooding left a sludge sand behind on the roadway.
Officials have been blocking off the road since News4JAX got to the area in the morning. Bulldozers could be seen scooting sand from the road as strong winds and rough water battered the coastline.
North A1A at the Countyline - St. Johns and Flagler County is CLOSED. Please use alternative routes. Debris and ocean breach on the roadway. #nicole #roadclosure #a1a #update pic.twitter.com/AvdTyO8NjD— Flagler County Emergency Management (@FlaglerEOC) November 9, 2022
At some points Wednesday, A1A has been closed all the way up to Summer Haven. The Intracoastal Waterway also crept into people’s driveways, up tributaries, and in some places, onto the road.
According to St. Johns County officials, the next high tide around 8:45 p.m. could bring flooding worse than was seen in the morning.
At Henry Green’s parents’ house at Crescent Beach, the water came a few inches into the garage around high tide.
“Water is our biggest concern,” Green said. “I don’t think this is a wind event...the wind doesn’t really worry me as much.”
Even close to low tide around 2 p.m., standing water gathered in some Crescent Beach streets.
St. Johns County issued a voluntary evacuation notice for its coastal areas effective at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Green said he and his family are going to wait and see what happens.
“If the tide gets really high tonight, we’ll be out of here,” Green said.
The county is advising those who live in RVs, mobile homes, manufactured houses and boats throughout the county to evacuate.
At the Crescent Beach Plaza, shopkeepers were preparing for Nicole with sandbags at their stoops. Patrick Guido owns the building.
“We got a little bit of water with Ian on this side of the building, so, you know, hopefully, these sandbags help a little bit,” Guido said.
He said he hopes this is the last storm he’s got to prepare for this season.
Two shelters opened here in St. Johns County for residents:
- Health and Human Services Department (Special medical needs) at 200 San Sebastian View in St. Augustine
- Solomon Calhoun Community Center (General population and pet-friendly) at 1300 Duval Street in St. Augustine
In the meantime, officials are urging people not to drive on flooded roads and to be mindful of their wake if they do.
As of around 6 p.m., A1A at Marineland was back open.