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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla – Thousands of people are expected to hit local beaches to celebrate the Fourth of July.
Jacksonville-area beach leaders are encouraging people to follow certain rules to be safe and to be aware of their surroundings both in the water and on land.
If you’re going out in the water to swim or surf, it’s a good idea to do so in the area by the lifeguard’s station.
Also, be mindful of the flags at the beaches for the water.
Red flag: There is a high-water hazard and stronger currents with a more dangerous surf.
Double red flags: The water is closed to the public.
Yellow flag: A medium hazard level and could mean strong currents or rough surf.
Purple flag: There is dangerous marine life in the area
Green flag: The water is calm and there is a low hazard.
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For those going to hang out at Jacksonville Beach, remember no grills, alcohol or fireworks are allowed on the beach because of the large crowds.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to keep a close eye on small children.
A fireworks show is scheduled at 9 p.m. Monday from the Jacksonville Beach Pier. There will be no beach access between Third Avenue North and Fifth Avenue North due to the fireworks show. That area is considered a public safety zone.
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Traffic — both pedestrians and vehicles — will be heavy, according to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, so that means, starting at 5 p.m., some roads to be closed or blocked.
State Road A1A will have several turning lanes blocked to aid in the northern and southern flow of traffic.
Beach Boulevard will have limitations at different intersections to aid in the westerly flow of traffic.
Pedestrians are strongly encouraged to only cross at properly marked pedestrian crossings.
The main travel route for northbound and southbound traffic along the three beach communities will be A1A. A secondary route will be Penman Road to Florida Boulevard and then to Mayport Road.
The main travel routes westbound will be J. Turner Butler, Beach and Atlantic boulevards. A secondary route for westbound traffic will be Wonderwood Drive.