• St. Johns County ending its state of emergency

    By: Jenna Bourne , Action News Jax


    It’s crunch time for people in St. Johns who still need to protect their homes after Hurricane Matthew.

    St. Johns County is letting its local state of emergency, which has been in place since Oct. 7, expire on Tuesday.

    The county renewed its state of emergency every week since then. Anyone who needs to apply for a building permit to protect or fix their homes is asked to do it now.

    About 60 people have received permits from the county to build temporary coastal armoring – barriers to shield their homes from erosion -- since the emergency began.

    The homes became more at risk after Hurricane Matthew decimated the county’s dunes.

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    “We’re just trying to protect people’s backyards,” said W.W. Gay construction superintendent Eric Gleaton. “We’re just trying to put a sheet pile wall in front of it, bulkhead, backfill it with beach-friendly dirt for the turtles.”

    St. Johns County has issued nearly 10,000 building permits since its local state of emergency began.

    County spokesman Michael Ryan said permit requests are winding down.

    “We no longer see a need for it to exist. And there’s no need to continue to be in a state of emergency if you’re not in one,” said Ryan.

    The county is working to find a permanent fix for the temporary solutions popping up in oceanfront backyards.

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    “The county’s going to work with the homeowners and the state and some federal agencies to look at long-term solutions. That could be everything from beach restoration to permanent structures under the homes,” said Ryan.

    If you still want to apply for a permit for temporary armoring, minimal sand replacement or minor repairs before the Tuesday deadline, call 904-827-6800 or visit http://sjcfl.us/hurricanematthewrebuild/.

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