Cool weather today follows heavy thunderstorms and high winds Tuesday night. Tornadoes were reported beginning in the Tallahassee area and warnings went all the way to the east coast including St. Johns and Flagler counties around 7 p.m. Putnam County got wind and some much needed rain. Reports of trees down in St. Johns County included one in Fruit Cove and others on A1A about a mile south of Mickler’s Beach. First responders used chainsaws to clear several spots along A1A. Cooler temps at night for the next couple of days are predicted.
One person died and two others were seriously injured in an early morning crash in Flagler County around 6:40 this morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. FHP said Good Samaritans pulled one driver out of his vehicle, basically saving his life as the car burned. The crash was on U.S. 1 at County Road 200 in Favoretta, which is just north of Plantation Bay. A SUV was northbound on U.S. 1 when for an unknown reason it crossed into the southbound lanes crashing head-on into a Honda Accord. The passenger in the Honda was killed. The two drivers were taken to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach. The crash is under investigation and names were withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Schools in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties continue to work on some technical issues as online instruction begins and students submit work from home computers. St. Johns has more than 40,000 students, Putnam 11,000 and Flagler more than 13,000 students.
The Palm Coast branch of the Flagler County Library System has been shut down after three staffers developed coronavirus-like symptoms. Since mid-March the Palm Coast and Bunnell libraries have been closed to the public, but librarians have provided curbside service with patrons calling up, requesting material and then picking up materials at the curb. It was popular with about 900 items a day being checked out. The county has now stopped all services. The staffers are being tested for coronavirus.
Putnam County Tuesday officially closed all parks, open spaces, community center buildings and playgrounds to the public. Boat ramps remain open. People are being reminded to practice boating restrictions including no more than 10 to a boat and staying 50 feet away from other boats. While recreation offices are closed, phone calls and messages are being returned. Call 386-329-1286.
Individual cities in Putnam County are allowed to set their own rules. Crescent City Mayor Brett Peterson says parks will remain open for now but bathrooms are closed. Playgrounds are off limits as is the basketball court at North Park.
It’s Census Day – the day used to reference where a person lives for the census count that happens once every 10 years. If you haven’t filled out the form sent to you, do so. You also can send it to the Census Bureau via the Internet. That count is used to determine congressional districts and state legislative districts. It also helps determine how much federal money comes to an area.
Speaking of federal money, Pres. Donald Trump is proposing $2 trillion be allotted for public works projects. Florida Gov. Ron Desantis is saying that may speed up some state Department of Transportation projects. Roadways are certainly less crowded these days.
St. Johns Cultural Council has come up with a way to help out-of-work entertainers and to provide some local entertainment to the public. A series of online concerts featuring S. Johns County-based artists will be going on throughout April beginning today. Concerts will be Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. through the Cultural Council Facebook page.