JEA preparing for what Nicole might bring to Northeast Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With Nicole approaching, JEA has gone into preparations for potential power outages. But this storm is unlike any in recent memory.

“This is a limited emergency,” said Chris Richardson, JEA electrical maintenance coordinator at the Westside service center. “I’ve been working here going on 34 years. We’re still not sure what to expect. We’re going by the national weather forecast, and it’s telling us 50-60 mph winds as the peak, and we’re set up for that.”

Richardson said that 24 to 25 crews and 29 troubleshooters were activated and ready to respond starting Wednesday afternoon.

Unlike during Hurricane Ian when out-of-town crews were on standby at the Equestrian Center, JEA is counting on local crews to restore power during Nicole.

“We like a task,” Richardson said. “We also like helping people. So when the power is out, that’s our job. It’s a pride issue with JEA. We’re known throughout the country throughout Florida especially as being people who can get in and get the job done without much supervision.”

As the storm approaches, JEA recommends updating the contact information on your customer profile on And Richardson said that if power is out or you see a line down, contact JEA and don’t approach the line.

“If there’s power down or power out you see a wire on the ground call it and stay away from always don’t get anywhere near,” Richardson said.

JEA recommends reporting the outage online, if possible. Customers can access the website on their cell phones. The second option should be a call to 904-665-6000. Although JEA also has technology that can detect an outage in many cases.

“We have these two-way meters now that can speak to a computer system here in town,” Richardson said. “We pretty much know when the power’s out, doesn’t hurt to reassure us.”

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Cole joined News4Jax full-time in January 2017, but he has been a part of the team since he began filling in as a sports anchor in 2005.