St Augustine took one of the hardest hits in the surrounding area. The city had ordered a mandatory evacuations before the hurricane roared through here. Some people were still returning home to asses the damages.
As we made our way through the Matanzas River, we started noticing the damage. Several docks were missing from some of the waterfront homes and marinas. While others remained attached but destroyed.Due to the damage reports we received for the mooring field and St Augustine Municipal Marina, we anchored east of Anastasia Island by the Bridge of Lions.
We headed ashore on Anastasia Island for provisioning at the local produce market. Anastasia Boulevard was lined with trash and debris from houses and businesses. There was still no power here. ATM’s were out of service and the store could only accepted cash. Luckily, we had enough cash on hand to pay for our purchase.
**The impact of this storm was much more devastating than I had realized.
FEMA was still here assessing the damage. Many businesses were still shut down. Surge flooding from the hurricane had washed through the streets into homes and businesses destroying everything.Across the bridge in the Downtown District, several feet of water had flooded the streets after the sea wall breached near the Fort. Several feet of water had surged through the Historic District Quarter. The basement Flagler College had been flooded as well. Luckily, the old buildings were left intact.
Around twenty boats had broken free from the mooring balls at the St Augustine Municipal Marina. There is damage to the city docks as well. The total damage cost is unknown at this point.
**They have located all missing boats. Many local Marinas were closed having been wiped out. Some boats even ended up on docks and in homes!
While the ancient city had been hit with a major hurricane, they are uniting to repair, rebuild, and restore. I saw a meme online today that read “We survived the Spanish War. We survived the British War. We survived Hurricane Matthew. St Augustine Strong”. Strong, it is.
“Hurricane season brings an humbling reminder that, despite our technologies, most of nature remains unpredictable”.