‘Take this seriously’: St. Johns County gives out free sandbags ahead of incoming tropical storm

St. Johns County is providing free sandbags starting at 12 p.m. on Monday at six locations throughout the county in preparation for Tropical Storm Idalia.

The county said community members must provide their own transportation and shovels and will be responsible for filling their own bags. There is a maximum allocation of 20 bags per person. The sand and bags will be available again starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday until weather permits.

The area is expected to feel the effects of the storm, which is expected to become a hurricane before it makes landfall, on Wednesday morning.

Sandbag locations:

Windswept Acres Park – 5335 SR A1A S.Solomon Calhoun Community Center – 1300 Duval St.Hastings Community Center – 6195 S. Main St., behind the buildingMills Field – 1805 Race Track Road, in the overflow parking areaPalm Valley – Under the Palm Valley Bridge, on the east side of the Intracoastal WaterwayNorth Beach Park – 3721 Coastal Highway, at the walkover

St. Johns County Emergency Management (SJCEM) urges the public to check their supply kits, secure their properties with window shutters, and remove debris. Those in mobile homes, boats, and RVs should prepare for the possibility of evacuation orders. The public should anticipate isolated power issues and exercise proper generator safety. Visit www.sjcfl.us/hurricane to read the St. Johns County Hurricane Preparedness Guide.

“Current forecasts show the potential for inland hurricane-strength wind gusts with the elevated possibility of tornados,” SJCEM Director Joseph Giammanco said. “This is an intensifying storm and we urge the public to take this seriously and be prudent and purposeful with their planning.”

SJCEM encourages the public to stay informed through these options:

Sign up for the Alert St. Johns emergency notification system at www.sjcemergencymanagement.comRegister for Nixle Alerts by texting StJohnsEOC to 888777Monitor www.sjcfl.us/hurricane for all storm-related updatesCall the St. Johns County Emergency Management Citizen Information Line at 904-824-5550 with any storm-related questions.

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