JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on Monday warned of potential flooding and tornadoes during a news conference detailing Hurricane Ian preparations but added there is “no reason to panic.”
Curry encouraged residents to know their flood and evacuation zones and come up with a plan as the storm moves north through the Gulf of Mexico toward Florida.
“In addition, tonight and tomorrow while our weather is nice, is when you want to check around your home and secure loose furniture, clean gutters and yard waste and ensure that everything is safe and secure,” Curry said.
Three parts of Duval County are under a Tropical Storm Watch, including downtown Jacksonville and the beaches communities, Curry said, adding that Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, JTA and Public Works Department of crews are standing by in the event of any power outages or other conditions created by wind or rain.
“At this time we are don’t have any plans at this moment to close city offices or departments,” Curry said, adding there are no plans currently to order evacuations or open shelters.
Duval County Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene said the district has not made a decision about closing schools yet, but plans to make that call by noon on Tuesday.
Crews for the City of Jacksonville were out Monday preparing for the impacts of Hurricane Ian by clearing drains and checking out some of the places that could see flooding from the storm that is expected to drop huge amounts of rain in the area.
Public works crews were in Arlington on Arbell Drive to clear out the storm drains. Crews also worked to clean out a ditch that runs behind homes in the area.
Crews have gone to various parts of Jacksonville where similar work is underway. News4JAX hit some areas to see what is being done to keep flooding to a minimum.
Storms aren’t even to Northeast Florida yet and the city still has problems at places like Springfield Park. The area has already flooded due to high tides but people that live around the area said it is an ongoing problem and they are really hoping that something will happen to fix it. They know it’s gonna get worse when Ian hits.
“This will be flooded all the way up to Hogan, the whole area,” said resident Joe Disalvo. “They’ll have emergency services come in, but it’s the same old, same old. You got to be able to get the infrastructure in place to repair this flood zone here. And it’s easier said than done. It’s very expensive. I know the city has plans to do it. Just hopefully we can start you know, making it happen.”
McCoys Creek is located west of downtown Jacksonville and is one of the most notorious spots for flooding every time it storms. But there’s a big change in the area.
McCoys Creek Boulevard has basically been removed and the area is being returned to its natural state as part of the Emerald Trail project. So, in theory, if the storm comes the water will have somewhere to go and not into the homes in the area.
On the Northside, Ken Knight Drive near the Ribault River is also flood-prone. People in the area are concerned about what could happen and they’re taking that wait-and-see approach though the city has also made some efforts in the area possibly trying to buy up some of the property that constantly floods.
Anyone can report flooding problems in their area to the city by calling 904-630-CITY.