Hurricane Matthew: Many historic buildings in St. Augustine, Florida damaged

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FILE PHOTO St. Augustine, FLorida Hurricane Matthew Damage Photo by Jason H. Dearen, AP Photo_236956

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) – St. Augustine’s iconic Spanish fortress escaped serious harm from Hurricane Matthew, but experts say more than 1,000 historic homes and buildings in north Florida’s colonial city were damaged.

Preservationists at the University of Florida said floodwaters surged into all seven of St. Augustine’s federally designated historic districts last month, damaging about half of all the 2,000 properties in those areas. Homes and businesses along the city’s waterfront were overwhelmed despite a seawall completed in 2014.

Morris Hylton of University of Florida’s historic preservation program called the damage significant. He says, “Many, if not a majority, of the historic properties … were impacted.”

Buildings flooded included Flagler College’s ornate Spanish Renaissance-style main hall.

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