Time and again, St. Augustine and all of Florida’s Historic Coast demonstrates that it is a resilient and hardy community. Hurricane Ian has moved on and things have returned to normal here.
From Ponte Vedra Beach south to Marineland, and from St. Augustine Beach and historic St. Augustine to the fun farmlands of Hastings and Elkton and the St. Johns River, businesses are open, and events are back on.
On Thursday, September 29, after battering Southwest and Central Florida, Hurricane Ian traveled north and east, affecting the coasts of Volusia, Flagler, and St. Johns Counties. St. Augustine experienced extreme high tides during the storm’s surge, causing brief flooding of the region’s coastal area, including historic St. Augustine. Once the storm passed, the flood waters quickly receded, and the community on Florida’s Historic Coast got to work cleaning up and reopening for business.
The businesses on Florida’s Historic Coast have worked quickly to recover from Hurricane Ian and are welcoming visitors now.
“St. Augustine has withstood many hurricanes and storms over the generations,” said Cindy Stavely, Executive Director of St. Augustine Pirate &Treasure Museum and The Colonial Quarter, located on the St. Augustine bayfront in the city’s Historic District. “Having experience with these kinds of conditions in the past, our crew at both museums were prepared and able to prevent any flooding and damage to our attractions, allowing us to reopen our doors as soon as the streets were cleared.”
By Friday, September 30, many restaurants, stores and attractions in the St. Augustine Historic District, on St. Augustine Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, and in Hastings were open for business.
“Through our experience with these kinds of storms and hurricanes, we have had extensive work done to our building which, combined with a little preparation, helped prevent major damage from Ian,” said Reggie Maggs, co-owner of Meehan’s Irish Pub & Seafood House. “We were able to do a little clean up and opened in time for dinner on Friday.”
“We were open by noon on Friday,” said Irving Kass, owner of the St. George Inn, which overlooks the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument located on St. Augustine’s bayfront.
“Our guests over the weekend were able to sit out in the courtyard on St. George Street enjoying wine, music and perfect weather. Honestly, we are enjoying exceptional weather conditions for this time of year. We are glad to welcome visitors coming back and look forward to sharing the experiences here for years to come” said Kass.
On Sunday, October 2, the Castillo de San Marcos, another testament to the resilience of the nation’s oldest city, was open and hosted the 350th anniversary of the 1672 groundbreaking of the massive structure on St. Augustine’s bayfront.
As of today, nearly all the tourism businesses on Florida’s Historic Coast are fully operational. To make planning for visits to Florida’s Historic Coast, the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau has published a sample list of businesses that are open . All scheduled events on Florida’s Historic Coast are also on track to take place.