Hurricane Irma Affects Linger Over a Month Later

Connor Reilly reports from St. Augustine, Florida.

“I mean we’ve had Irma, Maria and Jose that’s three “100 year storms” in one hurricane season, if anything that should be a reminder to climate change and how we are feeling the affects of it in present day,” said Thomas Hamilton, 23, a St. John’s County Beach Patrol employee. North Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida.
“My Job is to patrol this portion of St. Augustine Beach and check up on sea turtle conservation sites (roughly 100 nests). Pretty much, I get paid to protect baby sea turtles and do what I can to make sure they hatch and make it back to the sea with no human interaction influencing their lives,” said Hamilton. 1, Dondanville Rd., St. Augustine, Florida.
“Out of roughly 100 nests with about 100 eggs in each nest (10,000 potential sea turtles) I’ve documented less than 10 nests which survived Hurricane Irma, and most of them were formed after the storm,” said Hamilton. 1, Dondanville Rd., St. Augustine, Florida.
“A lot of the mother sea turtles were able to form the nests sooner than usual this year. A lot of animals have the ability to sense impending weather sooner than humans due to their advanced sense of smell and ability to sense low pressure systems. Also, with the lack of sea turtles some endangered birds were able to form nests where usually sea turtle nests would be, so it’s always good to look on the brighter side I guess,” said Hamilton. 1, Dondanville Rd, St. Augustine Florida.
“The reason so much debris has not been touched is because if St. John’s County has to pick it up it’s going to cost us a lot of money, but if FEMA picks it up we don’t have to spend any money and often we even gain a little money from the government funding, but so far no one is picking it up,” said Hamilton. North Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida.
Debris patches like these are often the main cause to baby sea turtle death as a whole, the young turtles often suffocate in the tangled plastic, fish line and organic material. North Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida.
A propane tank at North Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida, still attached to the house it came from.
A/C units are also amongst the array of debris sitting close to the ocean at North Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida.
Tread marks from large bulldozer machinery at North Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida.
A sign at North Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida. reminding beach goers to keep the water “tangle-free”.
The tangle of plastic, fish-line, wood and other organic material right below the “tangle-free” reminder sign. North Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida.
“The brown colored water tested positive for dinoflagellates which is basically a type of algae that can be toxic, the other contributor was sewage runoff,” said Hamilton. North Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida.
A new stair well built at North Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida, the only finished construction work done throughout the beach.
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