Hurricane Irene Could Delay St. Augustine Dredging Project

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Hurricane Irene's impact on recent dredging at the St. Augustine Inlet is expected to be minimal, but it could delay a bigger project in the fall.

Two weeks ago the Army Corps of Engineers removed about 4,500 cubic yards of sand from the inlet channel to improve boaters navigation.

"Even though (Irene) would kick up big ground swells, I just doubt it will have any serious impact on the channel as far as shifting sand and that kind of thing," said Carl Blow, a commissioner on the Florida Inland Navigational District and an expert on St. Augustine area waterways.

Severe Midday Storm In Palatka

Severe Midday Storm In Palatka

A little after lunch time today, around 1:00 p.m., skies  began to get dark over Putnam County.

A severe thunderstorm moved in over the area producing intense winds, rapid and extreme lightning and thunder, and very heavy downpours.

The conditions became severe in a matter of minutes. The roads filled quickly with water as the rain was coming down heavy rates. Debris blown out of trees into the streets from the heavy winds cluttered the roads as well. With visibility less than a half mile, the driving conditions were exceptionally dangerous.

The lightning was the main event of this storm, coming down rapidly in every direction with thunder following it immediately.

Big Business: Shrimpers in Brunswick Prepare for Hurricane Irene

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- There are endless nautical legends that give salty boat captains like Diane Adams clues about bad weather.

She was hustling Monday afternoon, filling her trawler with ice and rigging up.

MORE: Tracking the Tropics 

Adams said she wants to get one more drag in before Hurricane Irene gets close and makes it too rough for her crew.

"Hey, this is my livelihood," she said. "Right now with the price of shrimp so low and the cost of gas so high, I have to go whenever I can."

MORE: Turner Loose Blog

But she said while it seems like madness, there is method to it. She's been around shrimp boats her whole life.

Hurricane Irene Now Category 2 Storm

MIAMI - Hurricane Irene has churned into a stronger Category 2 storm and has cut a destructive path through the Caribbean as it heads toward the U.S. coast.
Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday night that a hurricane hunter aircraft measured maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (155 kph).
The storm raked Puerto Rico with strong winds and rain. It is spinning just north of the Dominican Republic on a track that could carry it to the U.S. Southeast as a major storm by the end of the week.
The first hurricane of the Atlantic season was a large system. Irene is forecast to grow into a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph (184 kph) over the Bahamas on Thursday.

FWC urges boat owners to secure their vessels before storm hits

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) advises boat owners to secure their boats properly in advance of possible sustained heavy winds from Hurricane Irene.

Vessels that break free can cause problems to waterways by causing fuel and oil pollution, drifting into bridges, docks, seawalls and piers, and interfering with navigation.  In addition, the boats themselves can sustain damage.

Preparations For IRENE

Preparations For IRENE

As we all know on the First Coast, Hurricane Season is WELL under way!

With Tropical Storm Irene intensifying extremely rapidly and making it's was towards the Caribbean with it's projected path towards Florida, it is time to start thinking about YOUR HURRICANE SAFETY PLAN.

It is never to late to make preparations, no matter how big or small. Whether you plan to Evacuate, or stay home and "Ride Out The Storm" as locals would say, simple things can be done to prepare for a storm and keep yourself and your loved ones safe and as comfortable as possible in these conditions.