Lynyrd Skynyrd said it best: “Can’t you smell that smell?”
People across Jacksonville woke up wondering what was causing a horrible smell outside.
News4Jax spent the morning making calls and sending emails to the city, JEA, police and fire departments, trying to get to the bottom of the infiltrating smell that had us holding our noses.
A city spokeswoman said at least 30 complaints were called in from nine different ZIP codes:
“While we do not have a source for the smell at this time, we do have an inspector with our environment quality division investigating and we will report back as soon as have more information,” the spokeswoman said in an email.
JEA also said it “does not have any reported issues at this time” but continues “to investigate.”
Jacksonville Fire Rescue said it received multiple calls overnight from around the city. Crews were sent on several, but nothing was found as far as the cause of the smell.
News4Jax has heard reports of the smell from St. Augustine to the Northside of Jacksonville to Orange Park and Fleming Island.
While we hope to get more definitive answers soon about the source, Meteorologist Mark Collins explained the science behind why the stench was so strong.
Mark said the smell was trapped by an inversion. The warm air above the ground acts as a lid on the atmosphere resulting in calm winds trapping everything from smoke and pollution to funky odors close to the ground. Inversions are common during the colder months when temperatures cool off quickly at night.
While we continue to look for a source, it also raises the question of whether this has anything to do with the unspecified stench that has been drawing complaints from Nassau County residents for weeks.