Flooding saturates coastal areas of St. Augustine; damaged portion of A1A reopens

Hurricane Nicole significantly impacted coastal areas of St. Johns County on Thursday, and flooding was reported in many spots through the county and city of St. Augustine.

A long stretch of A1A from Vilano Beach up into the Guana River State Park was closed where the road had been compromised.

“There’s about a six- to seven-mile stretch, which is impassible,” an EOC spokesperson said.

It reopened just after 10 p.m. Thursday.

The spokesperson said everyone in the area should shelter in place, and he said life-saving personnel and high-water vehicles can get to residents. He said that by Friday, residents should be able to get out and check for damage.

John Regan, the city manager of St. Augustine, said he too has heard from residents who were concerned about the flooding.

“I would say, just be patient,” Regan said. “There’s so much water. It just takes time and it will recede.”

DIRECT LINK: St. Johns County Emergency Management

Data from South Davis showed flooding was within a couple of inches of what was recorded during Ian.

The Bridge of Lions remained closed throughout the afternoon. Shortly before 6 p.m., it reopened to traffic. Some power outages were reported in the area.

Near Downtown St. Augustine, flooding was extreme earlier in the day. Diesel-powered pumps worked to keep the city’s sewer system flowing.

A kayaker paddles through a flooded downtown St. Augustine on Thursday morning. (News4JAX)

Resident Peter Klein said he’s owned a home in St. Augustine since 1990. He said he’s seen his share of storms roll through the area.

“As long as the power doesn’t go out, it’ll be fine,” Klein said. “We’ve been through plenty of storms here, and we actually got lucky a lot and had a lot of them — have power most of the time.”

Downtown St. Augustine was underwater Thursday morning during Tropical Storm Nicole. (WJXT)

St. Augustine police confirmed a man was shocked by a downed powerline in the area of Cuna and Charlotte streets. He was said to be in critical condition.

There was significant damage and erosion along parts of Crescent Beach on Thursday afternoon.

Two shelters opened 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

Officials are urging people not to drive on flooded roads and to be mindful of their wake if they do.

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I-TEAM and general assignment reporter