• Businesses in St. Augustine's historic district bracing for Irma, less than a year after Matthew

    By: Lorena Inclan , Action News Jax


    Many businesses in St. Augustine’s historic district were flooded during Hurricane Matthew, forcing renovations that in some cases lasted months.

    But now, the owners of those same businesses are having to prepare for yet another hurricane-- this time much stronger and bigger than Matthew.

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    Sandbags were lined up outside of Ebb Tide Gift Shoppe on Cordova Street in historic St. Augustine, while inside, owner Mike Eberly tried packing up merchandise.

    “We got the warning early, we know how serious this is going to be so my wife and I are here just making sure we can get our shop as prepared as possible,” Eberly said.

    Eberly just opened up his store two months ago. The same location was flooded during Hurricane Matthew less than a year ago.

    “About two feet of water came up,” Eberly said.

    Nearby stores were also preparing for what Irma could bring, with Matthew still fresh in their minds.

    “It's just a shock, but this community always pulls together when times like this happen,” Eberly said.

    A sign on State Road 16 read “stay away Irma.” That's what Eberly is hoping for, but he’s preparing for the worst.

    “The most important thing is to try and prepare for what's coming and just hope and pray that it's not too bad at the end,” Eberly said.

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