St. Johns County officials brief the public on Hurricane Dorian preparations on Tuesday. (Quan McWil/WUFT News)

Curfew, But Also ‘Harmony,’ Part Of St. Johns County Preparation For Hurricane Dorian’s Sweep


St. Johns County is well prepared for Hurricane Dorian’s push along Florida’s Atlantic Coast that’s expected to continue for much of Wednesday.

Starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday, St. Johns County implemented a curfew for Evacuation Zones A and B in St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach.

“That curfew is there to keep people home or off the streets. We’ll use common sense with it because we know not all situations are the same,” said St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar. Shoar stressed situational awareness, reminding residents to watch for standing water even after the storm.

St. Johns County has closed vehicular traffic coming into local beaches due to high surf and strong wind conditions from Hurricane Dorian. Bridges will close if sustained wind speeds reach 40 mph.

“It’s important to remember we are still under a hurricane warning for all of St. Johns County. This is not the time to get casual or lower our guard as we move forward,” County Administrator Michael Wanchick said.

Chuck Gillingham lives in a riverside neighborhood between St Augustine Beach and Vilano Beach where the county has issued a mandatory evacuation order.

“All we have done for the past four days is to communicate and talk to each other. A lot of harmony. My friends in Vilano help friends downtown,” Gillingham said. “The storm surge is obviously the big worry since the ocean is right there and we got a king tide.”

It cost him more than $125,000 to repair and replace his windows and ceiling after Hurricane Irma. He said that’s why he piled up sandbags and covered tarps, doing all he could to protect his home from Hurricane Dorian.

St. Johns County also opened six shelters:

  • Pacetti Bay Middle School, 245 Meadowlark Ln. (Special needs)
  • Timberlin Creek Elementary School, 555 Pine Tree Ln. (Pet-friendly)
  • Southwoods Elementary, 4750 State Road 206. (Pet-friendly)
  • Pedro Menendez High School, 600 State Road 206 West. (General population)
  • Bartram Trail High School, 7399 Longleaf Pine Pkwy. (General population)
  • Osceola Elementary, 1605 Osceola Elementary Rd. (General population)

St. Johns County School District schools will be closed on Thursday.

About Quan McWil

Quan is a reporter at WUFT News who can be reached by emailing or calling 352-392-6397.

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