Hundreds of cars got stuck in the sand of Huguenot Memorial Park on Sunday afternoon, some for as long as three hours. This posed a big problem when the tide began to come in, swamping some of the vehicles.
The park was closed by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office because of high tide. Officers were directing traffic exiting the park and keeping everyone else out, including our news crew.
IMAGES: Viewers’ photos of rising tide
Jennifer Healy posted several pictures on the Channel 4 Facebook page. In one picture a car was clearly submerged.
People we talked to said many of them got out by helping each other push and good Samaritans stepping up.
“People came running toward us from the front end, saying, please everybody just come and help us! Push these cars out of the way!” Maria Vazquez said.
“I do not know how to swim. Everything that came to my kind, I mean, the worst thing was us getting out of the car, picking up the phone, and just trying to get out. It was bad.”
The beach closed early Sunday afternoon with the officers citing the high tides. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office directed traffic as cars exited the park. Those who were they say they depended on each other to get out.
“Everybody was really calm and helpful. They were trying to get the smaller cars up higher, up toward the dryer spot. All the SUVs and the bigger trucks were staying behind. We were freaking out, freaking out,” said Jenifer Purdy.
The drivers we talked to said it took at least three hours to make it out. They’re just thankful this wasn’t worse.