Water utility services to be suspended to barrier island evacuation zones

UPDATE, Oct. 6, 9 p.m.: With the latest reports indicating Hurricane Matthew's impact on the First Coast may be catastrophic, county officials are urging anyone within the evacuation zone who has not left already to do so immediately.
According to the most recent information released by the National Weather Service, St. Johns County is expected to experience tropical force winds
beginning by 5 a.m. on Friday, with wind speeds reaching hurricane force
in excess of 100 mph after 4 p.m. With the combination of hurricane force winds, devastating storm surge, and wave heights projected to be in excess of 20 feet, Hurricane Matthew has the potential to cause severe property
damage and loss of life.
Water and sewer outages will begin after 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6 on the barrier islands east of the Intracoastal Waterway, including Ponte Vedra Beach, Vilano Beach and Anastasia Island. The water supply suspension includes St. Johns County Utility, City of St. Augustine Utility and JEA Utility customers.

County officials said services are being ceased to ensure integrity of the water and wastewater systems serving St. Johns County, protect the water supply during Hurricane Matthew and minimize potential damage to facilities. Water utility services will not be reinstated until staff is able to inspect systems, assess damage, make any necessary repairs and provide a safe and healthy water supply to customers of St. Johns County, the City of St. Augustine, and JEA.

In addition, county officials warn that potential water outages and system failures could occur throughout all evacuation zones for the duration of Hurricane Matthew and throughout any recovery operations. Once services are reinstated, a boil water notice will remain in effect until the water supply is deemed safe.

Bridge and road closures
In addition to a loss of water utility services, residents who remain within the evacuation zones during Hurricane Matthew could experience transportation interruptions due to bridge and road closures, and an interruption in first responder services as conditions deteriorate.  The county anticipates that during the course of this event, emergency response will be impacted and potentially unavailable in certain areas of the County until weather conditions improve.

For more information, please call the Citizen Information Line at 904.824.5550 or visit www.sjcfl.us.