‘Where did this come from?’ Clay County neighbors prepare for unexpected storm

Clay County neighbors are going through déjà vu as they prepare for Tropical Storm Nicole.

With Christmas just 46 days away, another storm is coming to town. ”I’m amazed,” said neighbor Thomas Mitchell as he let out a chuckle. “We don’t expect this, this time into the year.”


”Where did this come from?,” mused Joan Saunders, manager at Hagan Ace Hardware in Green Cove Springs. “This time of year, we don’t usually have a storm.”They’ve already made their supply list, and got everything on it.

”All your batteries, sandbags,” Saunders pointed out. “A lot of extra batteries, some of the lanterns, really bright lanterns,” Mitchell described.

Now, neighbors in Green Cove Springs are having to check it twice, to make sure they’re ready.

Read: Tropical Storm Nicole: Northeast Florida evacuation information

”We have a generator that’s full of gas that we started up about a month ago,” said Mitchell. “So, we know it’ll run.”

”Selling some tarps, flashlights,” Saunders added.

Before Hurricane Ian, the aisles of this Ace Hardware store were packed.

”It was crazy,” Saunders recalled. “A lot of people trying to grab whatever they could. It looked different on Wednesday.”

“A lot of people have their stuff left from the last threat that we had,” she explained.

Read: Nicole: Essential information for St. Augustine, St. Johns County

But in other ways, it’s a repeat of storms past.

It was just three weeks ago that employees had put up a shade cloth in the hardware store’s garden center.

On Wednesday, they had to tear it back down to prepare for the winds that will hit this area.

Concerns over power outages also remain.

Read: NICOLE LIVE UPDATES: Nicole bringing dangerous storm surge to Grand Bahama Island

”Our biggest problem will be loss of electricity,” Mitchell predicted.

Still, everyone is taking steps to make sure their homes stay shining bright this holiday season, even if the hurricane season hasn’t quite made its exit.

”I’m good! I better be good to go,” Mitchell assured.

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