Jacksonville prepares for Nicole: Mayor declares state of emergency, city to open shelters

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry holds a news conference Wednesday on Nicole. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced Wednesday that he has signed a declaration of a state of emergency in Duval County effective at midnight.

He said “we do not expect evacuations,” but the city is still making shelters available. Curry said two shelters will open at 8 a.m. Thursday:

  • The Legends Center at 5130 Soutel Drive (Open for general population, special needs and pet-friendly)
  • Landmark Middle School at 101 Kernan Blvd. (Open for general population and pet-friendly)

The mayor also announced the suspension of all garbage, recycling, bulk pickup and yard debris collections for Thursday. He said that Friday will be collected as scheduled and that a makeup day for Thursday will be this Saturday. So if your pickup day for any of these services is Thursday, that will now take place Saturday.

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He said that the city’s Department of Public Works activated its inclement weather plan on Tuesday and that crews are out working Wednesday to make additional preparations ahead of the storm.

The mayor reiterated that Duval County Public Schools will be closed on Thursday. In addition, according to the school district, all athletics activities, extracurricular activities and afterschool activities are canceled for Thursday and will be rescheduled. Athletic events and activities scheduled for Friday and Saturday are not affected, the district said. There are no changes to Wednesday’s operations. All school operations, extracurricular activities and afterschool activities will happen as normal on Wednesday.

City offices will be closed Thursday. They were already set to be closed Friday in observance of Veteran’s Day.

The Duval County Courthouse be closed on Thursday due to the approach of Nicole. As previously scheduled, the Courthouse will remain closed on Friday in observance of Veteran’s Day. As a result, the Duval County Clerk of Courts announces that all its offices will be closed beginning on Thursday through the end of business on Friday. This includes both the Duval County Courthouse and the Clerk’s beaches branch at 1543 Atlantic Blvd.

UNCUT: Watch Mayor Lenny Curry’s entire news conference on Nicole

Before the mayor’s news conference, the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair announced it will now be closed Wednesday due to Nicole. It was previously announced Tuesday that the fair will be closed Thursday because of the storm churching toward Florida. The fair still plans to reopen at 3 p.m. Friday and anticipates a regular schedule on Saturday.

Curry also reminded people to stay out of the ocean due to the dangers of swimming in extremely rough waters. Currently, there are red flag, high-hazard conditions at the beaches.

As for transportation, the St. Johns River Ferry will be closed Wednesday and Thursday. And Jacksonville Transportation Authority bus routes will run on a Saturday schedule on Thursday.

Anyone with questions that are not an emergency can call 630-CITY (2489). Curry said that beginning at midnight, lines will be open 24 hours and extra operators will be available to handle any call volume.

About the Author:

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