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Old 11-10-2016, 07:55   #1
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Use Caution in Florida

I posted this for another thread, but am re-posting it here for those that are traveling south and may not know how extensive the Hurricane Matthew damage is. Also, be aware that cell phone coverage may be reduced (tower down near here), and that sewage may have been released into navigable waters.

Be extremely cautious traveling further south. St. Augustine inlet likely is not per charts or markers.

Lots of debris in Matanzas River immediately south of you. New shoaling near Matanzas Inlet (north of Marineland), and areas south.

ATNs should be regarded with extreme suspicion as to accuracy of placement.

Hurricane damage increases further south in Jones and Flagler counties. Services are still not fully on line.

Substantial road damage along coast/ICW. Confirm any marinas you might require. Fuel shortages may still exist in some areas.

Verify operation of any lift bridge you might require to open. Some sustained damage and I am not current on repairs.

Be careful, and avoid leaving a wake in affected areas. Note that some flooding is still occurring. Water levels above normal.

Coast Guard recommending staying off the waterways. Use your best judgement.

Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2016, 08:22   #2
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

Also be careful of floating debris. There are pilings and dock parts floating low in the water and hard to see. In the Carolinas and Georgia it is probably worse as the flooding is much worse up there and lots of tress coming down the rivers.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:06   #3
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

There are also still active curfews and boil water advisories here in N. Florida!
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:55   #4
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

I checked on my boat in the yard at San Mateo, and I have to let you know that the surge there was SIGNIFICANT. This is on the St. John's River, too. The debris I saw there on the grass (normally about 4 feet or more above high tide level from my observations) consisted of tree limbs, the ever present palm fronds and other minor debris, and lumber from docks and pilings (likely sources), but there were some major tree falls all over the place and those things move downstream to the ICW eventually at the inlet in Jacksonville.

The ICW near St. Augustine and north was difficult for us in April of this year because the sand bars and other shoaling were not correctly marked on available hard charts or on the online sources, so I can pretty confidently state that they are not likely to be even the same now as they were then. Really, it would be wise to avoid the ICW until things settled down, and probably would require additional attention to navigation beyond what would be necessary when the charts were accurate! Now it is anyone's guess as to where shoaling and bars are located, and that does not even count the wreckage that is submerged all over the place.

I also wonder about all those sailboats I saw that were on the flood plain in April, stranded and heeled mere feet above water level at high tide. Surely some of those have moved, and they (and their contents) may now be anyplace in the ICW.

Be careful, friends!
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:58   #5
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

By the way, how long does it take to get at least a reasonably accurate ICW or river chart after these events occur? Do we have to wait until the decade each time? Longer? Less?
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Old 11-10-2016, 11:09   #6
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingFan View Post
By the way, how long does it take to get at least a reasonably accurate ICW or river chart after these events occur? Do we have to wait until the decade each time? Longer? Less?
Follow the updates online and as soon as locals get out and cruising boaters transit an area you will find reports of exactly what they encountered.

Look at the websites for:
Waterway Guide
Active Captain
Cruisersnet
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Old 11-10-2016, 11:26   #7
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

Coast Guard activities will concentrate on the commercial shipping channels and ports first. I suspect that the entirety of the ICW will not be officially, and properly, re-charted until well after the fall migration. Any required dredging will probably be a long time coming.

Best advice is to delay moving south as long as is possible to allow cleanup to proceed. Or go offshore.

This was a major event for the boating community and facilities and infrastructure have been lost from NC all the way to Daytona. From reports I have received, Vero, West Palm, etc. had limited damage and appear to be operational.

LB Knox bridge, ICW Mile 816, not opening according to reports this am. I will try to confirm bridge status of this and others and post results here. Unfortunately, my internet is extremely sketchy at this point.

Update: LB Knox Bridge operational
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Old 11-10-2016, 11:58   #8
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

Makes me want to mount another depth sounder aimed forward of the keel, so that I can see what is coming up!

I can see now I am going to likely have to break down and purchase chart subscriptions at some point and a real plotter that can run them before I go anyplace in the ICW. The St. John's won't likely have massive bottom contour changes this far south, but I can only imagine what is happening in the ICW... Yikes...
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Old 11-10-2016, 12:15   #9
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

Crescent Beach Bridge, Mile 789, not operational and may not reopen until late Wednesday due to storm damage.
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Old 11-10-2016, 21:36   #10
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

Crescent Beach Bridge repairs completed!
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:37   #11
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by redsky49 View Post
----- be aware that cell phone coverage may be reduced (tower down near here), -----
Where is "here"?
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:21   #12
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

Active Captain and Dockwa have a web page up to collect and share info about marina status post-Mathew. You can see the page at Hurricane Matthew Marina Damage Reports . Check Active Captain for info about current ICW conditions, and please, add your info to the mix. This is a great example of the power of social networking, IMHO.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:24   #13
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

I'm including an email I received from ActiveCaptain today. It includes reference to an online crowd sourced information page for Hurricane Matthew damage to the waterways.
Guy

>>> Crowd-Sourcing's Finest Hour >>>

A decade of software development. A million and a half dedicated users.
A community filled with technology savvy cruisers using some of the 600
different apps and websites available to view and enter data.

When a crisis strikes, government resources are prioritized. With the
damage caused by Hurricane Matthew, the commercial and military ports
have the major attention. Perhaps there will be surveying and reporting
of the waterways and the pathways we need to get through. But we can do
it ourselves. And we can do it better.

After the storm cleared, social media was alive with information,
pictures, and videos of the destruction. Before the sun came out after
the clouds cleared, data was already streaming into our databases. It
starts with marinas, boat yards, and commercial facilities because
owners and managers can provide first-hand, confirmed information.

We soon realized that it was important to pull out the Matthew-related
information to assist all those boaters just now starting to move south
along the US ICW. Since we're underway ourselves, we felt the issues
firsthand - where is it safe to go? What facilities will be available?
Where is there fuel? What inlets are safe to pass? Which bridges are
closed?

These and many more questions cannot be answered by any company or
group of individuals. But the community can answer them all. Together.

To better organize the hurricane data, we got together with Dockwa to
create a status and reporting page for all Hurricane Matthew
information. At first, it's filled with marina info. But the bridges,
inlets, and hazards are coming now as a few people start venturing out
and reporting their experiences. Hundreds of items were provided from
the ActiveCaptain database and Facebook group. Dockwa wrote to every
marina in the effected areas. If a marina didn't respond or didn't
receive the email, they were called. They continue to be called as
power and communications return.

All new hazard comments are now being manually reviewed to join the
status page. They'll be part of ActiveCaptain but will also be pulled
out to create one Hurricane Matthew status page.

The status and reporting page can be found here:
Hurricane Matthew Marina Damage Reports

Bookmark that page if you're cruising the US east coast this season.
Refer to it as part of your planning process.

If you have additional information, even if a facility is already
listed, add it to the report using the quick entry fields at the top.
Refresh the page if you have multiple items to enter. This includes a
status of "OK" if there was no damage and a marina is open for business
as normal. We need to know those places too.

Marinas - add your own data to the page or make sure the listed data is
correct. Update the information as it changes.

As you move along the waterway, write a comment on every hazard you pass
if there hasn't been an update since October 10th. Also add a new
comment if there is something else about the hazard that hasn't been
mentioned. Error on the side of providing more information - we'll edit
to keep the resulting knowledge base useful. Add new hazards on anything
that seems different from the charts.

Together, we'll get through this. Together, we'll all continue our
adventures in a safe way.

This is crowd-sourcing's finest hour.
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:11   #14
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Where is "here"?


Sorry. Here is south of St. Augustine. I believe that the cell tower loss, closer to Bunnell, has been corrected or adjusted for. Cell service had been spotty up until today (for me).

There are still homes here without power (27,000 in Jacksonville as of 11:00pm, last night, 10/11/2016, and many more in St. Augustine and areas south).

Boil water advisories are still active in a few areas.

I am not certain if all curfews are lifted. Some were still active as of 10/11/2016. Flagler County was lifted just last night.

Road damage and repairs may impact availability of some supplies. The section of state road A1A near Flagler Beach (ICW Mile 810 or so), is estimated to cost $35,000,000 to repair and take up to a year, for example.

There are lots of obstructions in the water. Just north of Marineland there are multiple floating docks from private homes that had washed away, that are now floating free in the waterway. One was at least 50-60' long.

Much of the sand that had formed the dunes has washed (over the roadways in some cases) into the Matanzas River. This section of the ICW, from St. Aug south should be very cautiously traveled, particularly in the vicinity of the Matanzas inlet.

The buoys marking the inlet channel, as well as the ICW route, at St. Aug were reported off station. This includes the "safe" sea buoy that is 1-1/2 to 2 miles off shore. Contact SeaTow or TowBoatUS if you must travel this area. Be advised - just because you hear of one person safely navigating this area, don't assume all is well.

This area is coming back to normal, but it really took a hit from Matthew. I have lost count of the boats sunk or severely damaged in St. Augustine. A lot of them ended up in somebody's front yard!

Today was the first day back at school for many local kids.

Be safe!
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:34   #15
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Re: Use Caution in Florida

I was trying to talk the Wife into going off shore. This may do it. 6-1/2' draft.
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