Every year, residents of Florida are reminded of the vulnerability of our coastal community to tropical storms and hurricanes. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. You and your family need to know what to do and where to go should the threat of a hurricane becomes real.
Safety first – and the most important safety factor is PREPAREDNESS, whether or not you choose to, or are ordered to evacuate. Please be ready by having a Family Plan (including pets) that covers, at a minimum:
• Knowing your Evacuation Route (designated evacuation route for Marsh Landing residents is by going north on A1A and then west on JTB/SR202)
• Knowing where you will go should you need to evacuate
• Having a Disaster Kit on hand
• Review of your Home and Auto Insurance Policies
• Purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio (if you do not have a weather radio, you may tune to the Florida Public Radio Network on NPR 89.9 WJCT-FM with any available radio)
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Marsh Landing residents are encouraged to refer to the various websites mentioned below. You may wish to develop a “Hurricane Evacuation Plan Notebook” that covers your particular family needs.
Gate Access personnel and St. Johns County officers will be positioned to manage and guide traffic as needed. Both are specifically trained to assist our community in the event of a mandatory evacuation.
Marsh Landing Is Not Flood-Proof
As you may know, the Marsh Landing system of pond pumps is designed to pump water out of the ponds in the event of storms. Many residents who suffered water damage caused by hurricanes Matthew and Irma questioned the purpose of our ponds and the efficacy and management of our pumps. It may be natural to assume that our pumps are designed to handle any level of threat from flooding. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact:
• Pumps are limited in capacity by state law and St. Johns River Water Management District regulations to not exceed development discharge rates of the natural landscape prior to development, and to avoid downstream flooding.
• None of our ponds or pump systems are designed to control or limit a storm surge that exceeds the height of yards and pond berms, which average +4.5 feet above sea level.
• Ponds can typically hold a rain event of up to 8.6” in 24 hours from normal lake levels before water will extend outward into yards, streets, patios, pools and garages.
• Regulations only allow drawing the ponds down to their normal design levels prior to a storm and prohibit pumping before a storm to create extra capacity. Doing so really just raises the level of the marsh prior to the storm and that water comes back.
Hurricanes Matthew and Irma created both rain and storm surge that far exceeded Marsh Landing’s permitted water management capabilities. We share the same risks as others who live on barrier islands. Water seeks its own level, and pumps are no match for hurricanes.
Sandbagging A Home
Ideas Based on Local Experiences
By Will Fellner, Marsh Landing Resident
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Residents of St. Johns County can be notified of public safety issues by high-speed telephone emergency notification services. The CODE RED system gives county and city officials the ability to deliver pre-recorded emergency telephone notification/information messages to the entire county or to targeted areas at a rate of up to 60,000 calls an hour. Officials from the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management, St. Johns County Fire Rescue, St. Augustine Police, and St. Augustine Beach Police Department have been trained on the system to ensure all citizens can be informed of any public safety issues.
The system can be used for a variety of events to include, but not limited to, hazardous weather conditions, fires, bomb threats, gas leaks, missing children or adults, escaped prisoners, hazardous material emergencies, or sexual offender or predator notifications.
SJC Hurricane Preparedness:
American Red Cross
First Coast News Hurricane Central
Beaches Utilities (power outage or downed lines)
904.247.6171 (24 hrs.)