JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly two weeks after an EF-1 tornado touched down in Jacksonville during Tropical Storm Elsa, some homeowners are still waiting for piles of debris they collected to be removed following the heavy wind and rain.
The tornado spun for about six minutes and produced winds of up to 110 mph as it moved north for nearly 4 miles, according to the National Weather Service. Along the way, the 150-yard-wide twister snapped trees, flung fences and caused damage to homes along Old Kings Road South, Powers Avenue and beyond.
On Monday, some of the debris was still in front of homes in the San Jose neighborhood, waiting to be collected along Habana Avenue as well as Mendoza and Argentine drives.
Arzrudin Dizarevic said he was watching television with his wife at their home on Habana Avenue when they heard what sounded like a train roaring through on July 7.
“I said to my wife, ‘Run to the bathroom,’” Dizarevic said. “Everything happened in that second.”
Dizarevic said city workers came the morning after the storm, but haven’t been back since.
He said he is looking into hiring a private company to remove the debris in front of his home.
“They’ve got every kind of instrument to charge us, but they’ve got every kind of excuse not to help us,” Dizarevic said. “Maybe I can send the bill of the removal company’s trees to the mayor.”
Billy Osbourne, who also lives in the area, said his fiancée has been calling the city frequently in regard to the mess.
“I guess they’re so overwhelmed,” he said.
News4Jax reached out to the city of Jacksonville about their concerns.
A statement from a city spokesperson (in full at end of article) reads in part: “The companies we contract with have expressed difficulty with being properly staffed, and tell us that is leading to delayed pickups. In addition, we are now seeing a large increase in residential waste which is causing trucks to fill up faster.”
The spokesperson added that city employees with commercial driver licenses have been asked to work overtime in an attempt to alleviate the issue and that some employees in the solid waste division are working seven days a week to fill the gap.
To report a problem, the city recommends residents use the MyJax app or go to myjax.custhelp.com. They can also call 904-630-CITY, but may experience wait times.
Here’s the full statement from the city: