First, Florida State Parks closed down Fort Clinch and Amelia Island State Park. Then Fernandina closed its city beaches. Hours later, Nassau County’s Executive Order No. 2 closed the remaining beachfront on Amelia Island effective at 6 AM, Sun., March 22, 2020.
Regardless of Hurricane Dorian’s exact path, northeast Florida is expecting red flag ocean conditions at the beaches, higher tides, periods of heavy rain, potential flooding, and wind.
A “Beach Committee” is mulling over how to handle beach parking at Fernandina’s city lots, including possibility of fees to park.
Besides day trippers, tourists are arriving on Amelia Island and staying overnight as reliably as the tides. And the visitor high tide line has risen for its fifth year in a row.
There was nothing skimpy or shrimpy about the throngs of people who crowded the downtown streets in Fernandina Beach for the 52nd Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. Abundant blue skies and pleasant temperatures attracted a boatload of people this year.
Tourism officials promoted Amelia Island as a destination for those attending Jacksonville’s TaxSlayer Bowl (formerly known as the Gator Bowl) and plenty showed up. Iowa players stayed at Omni Amelia Island Plantation and practiced at Fernandina Beach High School’s football field.