Crews prepare for hard freeze in NE Florida

FDOT says Jacksonville roads could contain black ice Tuesday morning

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Transportation says because of the cold weather, Jacksonville roads could contain black ice Tuesday morning.

"The problem we've noticed over the years is the water going onto the roadway and freezing," said Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Goldman.

Goldman said the department often sees large businesses with electronic sprinklers spray onto large roadways. With cold temperatures, that water turns to ice and results in traffic accidents.

"There was a bad fender bender on Blanding Boulevard in Argyle," Goldman said. "What happened is it froze in the early morning hours when you can't see very well, right when the sun is coming up."

Fire crews are also gearing up for the cold temperatures, expecting potential calls related to things like space heaters.

"It would possibly be first-time users of space heaters because they put them too close to curtains and don't account for the radiant heat that comes off these things and can bring up to ignition temperature and end up burning," said JFRD Lieutenant Todd Smith.

At station 13 in San Marco they're preparing for the possibility of a fire keeping them outside in 20 degree weather, and winding up soaked from the water they pour on the fire.

"The cold weather really does wear us down quicker. We're keen to that," Lt. Smith said. "The chiefs are very good about making sure the swapping out is quicker knowing that you'll be soaking wet and exposed to lower temperatures."

The DOT said all of their road construction will stop Monday night because the asphalt can't be laid in these cold temperatures.

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