Mayor, city leaders give hurricane prep updates before season starts Thursday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As Northeast Florida residents get ready for hurricane season, the city of Jacksonville is preparing as well.

The major players in hurricane preparedness for Jacksonville and the beaches met Wednesday -- a day before the start of hurricane season -- to share hurricane prep updates.

That included Mayor-elect Donna Deegan.

“We have been working very closely to make sure that the transition is smooth on every, every front. But obviously, emergency preparedness is job number one. So we’re ready for it. And we’re going to make sure that our teams stay Jax ready.”

News4JAX spoke with her and current Mayor Lenny Curry about the administration transition.

During the meeting, those on hand heard from the National Weather Service which said to expect a normal storm season but be prepared for that change. And the one phrase mentioned over and over again Wednesday was “know your evacuation zone.”

Wednesday’s meeting at the Prime Osborn Convention Center also included Sheriff T.K. Waters, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Chief Keith Powers and Emergency Preparedness Division Chief Andre Ayoub.

Ayoub took over the office early this month after the previous chief, Todd A. Smith, resigned his post amid what he called “unfounded allegations.”

Curry appointed Ayoub as the interim chief. He is a former police chief with 27 years of experience. He previously served as the Chief of the Special Events Division where he was the primary emergency preparedness point of contact for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The city leaders heard from National Weather Service Meteorologist Angie Enyedi, JEA’s Raye Marshall and JTA’s Nat Ford.

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