Jacksonville monitors Elsa, works to make sure infrastructure is in good shape

Flooding could be an issue if storm impacts the area because the ground is so saturated

On Thursday, News4Jax checked areas of the city that are known for flooding to see what steps are being taken to prepare for a storm.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Elsa could be the first major storm this season for the Jacksonville area.

With so much rain in the last month (nearly 10 inches), flooding could be an issue if Elsa impacts the area because the ground is so saturated.

On Thursday, News4Jax checked areas of the city that are known for flooding to see what steps are being taken to prepare for a storm.

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In Hogan’s Creek, clogged drains and debris could be seen. Shay Cobb said the problem needs to be addressed now before the next storm. Last month, she said, her car was damaged while trying to drive through floodwaters in the area.

“It was bad. Seriously, I seen another car come through. They got through, so I said, ‘I will be able to make it.’ No, I didn’t make it,” Cobb said.

Hogan’s Creek isn’t the only area of Jacksonville where flooding has been a problem. Also on Thursday, News4Jax went back to Cassat Avenue, where flooding occurred last month. Drains that were broken then were barricaded but not repaired. That’s no surprise to John Romberg, who owns a car lot on Cassat Avenue.

“The water has nowhere to go. It’s just a swoosh of water right down into these drains, and they don’t clean the drains out. They tell you they do, but they don’t,” Romberg said. “I clean this drain out myself personally.”

Also on Thursday, News4Jax went back to Cassat Avenue, where flooding occurred last month. Drains that were broken then were barricaded but not repaired. (WJXT)

News4Jax checked in Thursday with Steven Woodard, chief of the city’s Emergency Preparedness Division, and asked about the recent heavy rains and the possibility of flooding with Elsa.

“Flooding is a concern in any community if you have a storm that impacts it. We monitor those conditions. We work with our public works department and with JEA to make sure the infrastructure is in good shape and that people are prepared,” Woodard said.

He added they have checked with the Department of Public Works and other partners and are encouraging them to monitor the storm over the weekend.

“We are having calls with all of our partners, checking in with them, checking the weather, particularly, and encouraging people to monitor that over the weekend,” Woodard said.

News4Jax also checked in Thursday with public works to see how that department is preparing and received this statement from the city:

“Our plan is to have Maintenance Activities work their inclement weather sites Friday.

“Preparations are being made to have additional resources available for our On Call Supervisor with the extended holiday weekend.

“We will continue monitoring the storm’s track and make any necessary adjustments based on information provided by the Directors Office or the EOC.”


About the Authors:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.