Nassau County lifts evacuation orders Thursday morning

A curfew for Amelia Island remained in effect Wednesday evening

By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Brittany Muller - Reporter, Zachery Lashway - Reporter/anchor, Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer

YULEE, Fla. - The worst of Hurricane Dorian has passed, but Nassau County officials weren't taking any chances as a curfew remained in effect for Amelia Island Wednesday night and the evacuation order for the county wasn't lifted until 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

Exterior shot of storm shelter

Families and individuals living on Amelia Island were under a curfew from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday until crews had a chance to fan out and survey any storm damage and hazards left by Dorian.

"We're restricting people being able to travel on the streets," Nassau County Emergency Management Director Greg Foster said.

Initial damage assessments throughout the county are very minimal with reports of only a few trees down and standing water in limited areas, emergency management said Thursday morning.

Shelters were in the process of discharging clients Thursday morning.

Residents returning home following the lifting of the evacuation can report any residential damage to the Nassau County Emergency Operations Center at 904-548-0900

So far, there have been limited reports of downed trees related to the storm, but no reports of significant damage. Foster said mounds of sand piled up near the dunes at the county's beaches would stay in place until the storm completely moves through the area.

The emergency operations center is downgrading to a partial activation, meaning only essential staff will remain to answer calls and assess damage report. Government offices, the courthouse and schools are closed Thursday but will reopen on Friday.

Baptist Medical Center Nassau in Fernandina Beach is also expected to resume normal operations beginning on Friday.

Moving forward in the coming days people are encouraged to be safe, pay attention to standing water on the roads and any other hazards.

Allyson Swart is an Amelia Island resident who has lived on the island for 13 years.

"“I was here for Irma and Matthew," Swart said. "We bunkered down and had bags packed just in case it shifted a little to the west. We were ready to leave if we needed to, very grateful we didn’t have to. We are very blessed. We are very lucky.”

Evacuations were issued Sunday for Zones A, C and F -- including Franklintown, American Beach, Amelia City, Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, the Intracoastal, areas along the Nassau River and other low-lying neighborhoods -- out of concern the impact Dorian could have in Northeast Florida.

Emergency management staff can be reached during normal business hours by calling 904-548-0900. More information can be found at nassaufl-em.com. If you haven't already, click here to sign up now for the Alert Nassau Citizen Alerts.

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