The city of Jacksonville is urging residents and visitors participating in outdoor events this weekend as part of the Georgia-Florida football game to take precautions as Hurricane Sandy in the Atlantic Ocean causes fringe weather effects in the area.
Sports fans attending the game or nearby festivities are urged to closely track weather reports.
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While the storm is expected to stay well offshore, the National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm watch for northeast Florida and coastal southeast Georgia. The NWS expects gusty winds through Sunday morning.
"We need our residents and our visitors to do one thing: Be prepared," said Michael Jacobsen, director of Emergency Preparedness for the city of Jacksonville. "Don't take risks while tailgating, hitting the beaches or boating. We want everyone here for our great football weekend to have a safe weekend."
- Friday afternoon: sustained 20-30 mph
- Friday overnight: sustained 25-35 mph
- Saturday morning/afternoon: sustained 20-30 mph
- Saturday evening sustained: 15-25 mph
Beaches: Rough waters are expected, including high waves and rip currents. Those conditions make it very dangerous to enter the water. Due to the season, there will be little to no lifeguard presence at the beaches. Entering the water and recreational surfing is discouraged.
Georgia vs. Florida College Football Classic: High winds pose a dangerous situation for recreational tents. Fans are asked to not use recreational tents or canopies in heavy winds. They are also asked to not use charcoal grills and lighter fluid during high-wind events and to ensure that all coals have been extinguished before leaving the area.
Caution should be used when crossing area bridges during high, sustained winds.
St. Johns River: The city is monitoring the St. Johns River and boater safety. The NWS recommends small boats stay in port and remain well-secured, as dangerous conditions on the St. Johns River are expected with rough waters and northerly winds of 25-35 mph. Boaters and swimmers are being warned of extremely strong currents in the river. Anyone on a boat needs to wear a life jacket. Use of water taxis is being monitored and service may be affected. Boaters are advised to make alternate plans, as needed. If docking at the Jacksonville Landing, note that conditions will be very dangerous.
Recreational Vehicles: The city is concerned about the dense population at the Landing. Officials ask fans to not use recreational tents or canopies in heavy winds, and to not use charcoal grills and lighter fluid during high-wind events, while ensuring that all coals have been extinguished before leaving the area. Secure anything loose and/or light in weight.
Information for the Georgia-Florida game can be found at www.flga.org.