After Hurricane Ian Jacksonville beaches are back open

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Jacksonville beaches are open but still took a beating from Hurricane Ian. Now the concern has turned to beach erosion and washed-up debris.

The water at Jacksonville Beach is calm again but Hurricane Ian churned up some debris now left behind.

“I’ve seen a few trees that kind of washed ashore, from where I don’t know but as far as surfers and giving them instructions to stay out the water. I mean taking risks and danger is a part of what they do,” says Andrea Riley.

This huge tree branch washed ashore. Today. It’ll depend on the waters but over the next few days, you could see debris like this at low tide. Make sure to be careful, high tide will cover it underwater.

“If you’re out here skimboarding or surfboarding or you got little kids running around and there’s tide and stuff coming, and they land on something rusty it’d definitely be an issue,” says Nicholas Clayton.

The pier closed during Hurricane Ian but re-opened Saturday.

“I think it’s necessary to close the pier during the hurricane as well as the bridges, it’s for the safety of the people,” says Andrea Riley.

“We’re new to the area so it’s actually really cool to see just how big of a deal it is to everyone around us,” says Nicholas Clayton.

The pier had been closed for renovation since 2019 after being damaged in Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and then more damaged in 2017 by Hurricane Irma. Today the pier is in good standing after its renovation including adding an extra 8 feet of height to protect it from storm surges and hurricanes.

The first alert weather team says rip current conditions aren’t as rough as they were the past few days. Although waves are down to 2-3 feet, swimmers should still be careful. The rough surf during Ian left behind major erosion. Beachgoers are asked to stay off the dunes to give the berm time to rebuild.

“The ocean, the beach, the pier, this is the only reason I am a resident of Duval county. I’m excited to be here today and I’m so glad it’s back open again,” says Andrea Riley.

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