High surf pounding, eroding local beaches

by: Lorena Incl\u00E1n Updated:


ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. -  Tropical Storm Cristobal isn’t expected to hit Northeast Florida but that doesn’t mean it won’t have any impact. Couple that with a nor’easter and it’s the perfect storm.

St. Augustine Beach and Jacksonville Beach were both flying red flags Monday warning beachgoers of potential rip currents.

The rough surf pounding the shoreline is already causing erosion in St. Augustine, which was almost a ghost town with the exception of a few surfers like Jake Butler.

Even for Butler, the conditions weren’t ideal.

“It's a bit blown out; it's not the best conditions. If the wind was west it'd be better,” said Butler.

Assistant Director for Recreation and Parks Billy Zeits said conditions had been deteriorating since Monday morning.

“This morning at 8 o'clock when we went to open the gates, 75 percent of the beach was completely under water,” said Zeits.

Erosion worsened over the course of the afternoon. Jacksonville Beach lifeguards are also feeling the impacts from erosion.

“We will have less beach to drive on and when we do respond to emergencies we'll have to plan accordingly. So there might be times where we take the street,” said Capt. Rob Emahiser.

According to Emahiser, because of the rough conditions, lifeguards would not man the beach stands but were keeping an eye on the shore from a tower.

“When anybody goes in the water, we go ahead and dispatch a truck and just speak to them and inform them of the conditions,” said Emahiser.

St. Johns County closed two beach access points to vehicles. Lifeguards were not staffed at towers but Marine Rescue did maintain patrols on all St. Johns County beaches.