West Bound Traffic From Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island Remains Open for Evacuation; East Bound Closed to Traffic
Nassau County Emergency Management ...
For Immediate Release 10/5/2016
Contact: Dave Richardson
(904) 548-0900 or (904) 654-5858
Facebook: Nassau EM
To encourage evacuation of Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island as Hurricane Matthew moves closer to Nassau County, West bound traffic remains open. However, that window likely will close early tomorrow morning when tropical storm force winds will reach 40 mph. At that time, the Shave Bridge will be closed in all directions. East bound traffic has been closed since 6pm today.
Services to the Island will likely not be available beginning tonight; no electricity or water for those remaining residents who have not heeded a mandatory evacuation. Nassau County Director of Emergency Management Billy Estep continues to encourage those who live on the Island to leave due to projected storm surge numbers and hurricane force winds. Tropical force storm winds will begin raking the coast sometime around 8am, assuming the current speed of Matthew. Those winds could last up to 30 hours as the storm makes its way up the coast. Hurricane force storm winds could begin late afternoon tomorrow and last for up to seven hours, according to Estep.
Many residents are asking when they might be able to return to their homes on the Island. That, according to Estep, will depend upon a number of factors; the severity of the storm, any structural damage to the Shave Bridge and the amount of debris field that will have to be removed before first responders can safely cross the bridge to conduct emergency operations, including search and rescue. Estep says that may be days, not hours.
Planning now has begun at Nassau County Emergency Management for post-storm impact. Resources are being secured for distribution as soon as possible after storm debris has been cleared to allow residents to safely travel on our roadways. Times and places of distribution will be announced via the news media, social media and on our Facebook page Nassau EM.
You can also follow alerts, announcements, information and updates on our twitter account @nassauem.
County Manager's Office