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St. Johns County still recovering from hurricane

Public Works plans dredging, beach renourishment, dune replacement

Wind and water from Hurricane Matthew batter downtown St. Augustine, Fla., Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Wind and water from Hurricane Matthew batter downtown St. Augustine, Fla., Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Associated Press)

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Months after Hurricane Matthew pummeled St. Johns County, leaving a wake of millions of dollars in damage, the county is still working toward recovery.

A Public Works representative presented an update on the county's progress Tuesday morning to the St. Johns County Board of Commissioners.

Neil Shrinkre said the department is focused on dredging, beach renourishment and emergency dune replacement.

Public Works wants to dredge the Intracoastal Waterway and Matanzas Inlet in St. Augustine, but they'll have to contact residents because some of the locations for sand placement are on private property. Their goal is to complete the project by the end of April, Shrinkre said.

He said beach renourishment was already being worked on before the hurricane, but now the shore needs the protection even more. Shrinkre said the next step is presenting the county's plan March 23 for renourishment for the national Civil Works department to review in Washington, D.C.

Public Works is also requesting funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for emergency dune replacement, but the department is waiting to hear back about what might be eligible for funds. They expect a response within one to two months. There are strict eligibility rules from FEMA, and the county is trying to maximize the dollars it receives from FEMA and the state.

The county also needs to decide going forward how it will fund hurricane recovery to get the county back to normal, but that plan hasn't been finalized.


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